Phillips, Richard D.
Associate Professor of Sociology & Religious Studies, University of North Florida
My primary research interests center on theoretical issues in the sociology of religion. Specifically, I am interested in the ways that cultural and religious pluralism affect the construction and maintenance of social solidarity within religious congregations. I have a forthcoming book that investigates this topic based on ethnographic data collected from two different religious communities. I have also published several articles that extend and critique popular rational choice theories of religious participation. My first book examined the nexus between religion and deviance. Almost all of the empirical data I use are based on trends and developments within Mormonism, but recently my focus has shifted to evangelical Protestantism in the antebellum US. My work is hard to characterize. I have a predilection for testable, systematized theories, but I'm also inclined toward qualitative methods. Call me a positivist ethnographer. I teach a lot of different courses, but I'm primarily involved in teaching research methods and theory. My articles have been published in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Nova Religio, and Sociology of Religion.