Assistant Professor

Degrees: Ph.D., University of Chicago Divinity School

Expertise: Sociology of Religion, American Religious History and Culture

Dr. Tobey is a sociologist of religion who researches the dynamics and mechanisms of religious identity, community, and boundaries in the pluralistic context of the contemporary United States.

Her first book, Plowshares: Protest, Performance, and Identity in the Nuclear Age (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2016) explores the religio-political world of a group of radical Catholic anti-nuclear activists, who trespass onto nuclear facilities to bring about “symbolic disarmament” by hammering and pouring their own blood over the equipment. She has also written about the Plowshares in the Journal of Religion and the Journal of Political Theology. You can learn more about Dr. Tobey’s research on Plowshares activism at the web magazine Religion Dispatches, where she was interviewed recently.

Dr. Tobey’s current research examines the “in-between” religious identities of people who feel disconnected from a religious community but do not wish to leave the community. Dr. Tobey is looking at how these individuals blend affiliation and disaffiliation into new forms of religious identity and community, and what they reveal about the contemporary American religious landscape.

Dr. Tobey teaches courses on American religious history and culture (such as Religious Enthusiasm in Modern America and Minority Religions in America) and religion and the social sciences (such as Constructing Religious Identity).

Course Offerings

Spring 2019

  • Grauel Research Fellowship

Fall 2019

  • TRS 227.51 Religious Enthusiasm (linked with HS 240.51)  TR 9:30 – 10:45 am
  • TRS 327.51 Minority Religions TR 2:00 – 3:15 pm
  • TRS 327.52 Minority Religions TR 3:30 – 4:15 pm