Philip Deslippe

Religions in North America, Asian American Religions, New Religious Movements
Personal Website:


I am historian of American religion with a background in American Studies and literature. My research focuses on race and immigration in American religion, “cults” and new religious movements, the American metaphysical tradition, and Asian American religions. I am currently writing a dissertation on the early history of yoga in the United States from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century.

In 2011, I edited and introduced a new and definitive edition of the  The Kybalion, a metaphysical classic and strong influence on the modern positive thinking movement, for Tarcher/Penguin which has since been translated into Romanian and Portuguese (for Brazil), with forthcoming editions in Turkish and Portuguese (for Portugal). I have also written over two dozen articles for popular audiences in such venues as The History Channel, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Yoga Journal, Air & Space Smithsonian, the Indian news site, and Tides, the magazine of the South Asian American Digital Archive.

Journal Articles:

Longform Articles:

Reviews and Review Essays:

Courses Taught:

  • RGST7: Religion in America (3 Quarters)
  • RGST101: New Religious Movements
  • ASAM162: Asian American Religions
  • RLTH100: Religion, Identity, and Vocation
  • RLTH334: American Religious Experience
    (California Lutheran University)
  • 8G1: Interpretation of Literature (5 Semesters)
  • 8G9: American Lives- Religious Cults
    (University of Iowa, Department of English)

Teaching Assistant:

  • RS21: Zen Buddhism
  • RS71: Introduction to Asian American Religion
  • RS81: Modern Iran
  • ASAM2: American Migration Since 1965 (8 Quarters)
  • ASAM4: Introduction to Asian American Popular Culture
  • ASAM5: Introduction to Asian American Literature (3 Quarters)