Dusty Hoesly

Postdoctoral Researcher

Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
American Religions, Sociology of Religion, Secularism, New Religious Movements
Robertson Gym 1015
Office Hours:
By appointment
Time Period: 2020-2022
Personal Website:
Curriculum Vitae:


My research focuses on American religions and secularism, specializing in how minority religions and spiritual movements shape modern American culture. I employ humanistic and social scientific methodologies to investigate how religion is constructed through discourse and institutions. I have published work on the Universal Life Church and contemporary American weddings, organic foods in new religious movements, biodiversity and spiritual wellbeing, and religion in the American West.

Current projects include an intergenerational study of religion, spirituality, and values, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, and a monograph on the Universal Life Church. I am also developing articles about the Orientalist origins of the brainwashing concept, the Esalen Institute’s spiritualization of geopolitics, and the federal taxation of religious groups.

I have conducted podcast interviews and written articles for the Religious Studies Project, published book reviews and encyclopedia entries, and contributed articles for academic blogs. These can be found on my CV.

I am co-chair of the Sociology of Religion Unit at the AAR. Previously, I was a visiting assistant teaching professor at the University of Southern Mississippi and a lecturer at the University of California, Santa Barbara.