Dr. Carlson’s work at CLU has two primary areas of concentration, which often intertwine: religious history; and gender and religion.
His research in religious history focuses on the late medieval and early modern eras. He is particularly interested in how various kinds of texts (literary, theological, and academic) influence religious thought and practice. He is currently studying the library of a late-medieval monastic college in Ashridge, England, attempting to identify its relationship to diocesan structures, the medieval universities, and English royalty during its 250 year history. His work studying an all-male, medieval, intellectual enclave relates to his second area of study.
Carlson’s work on gender began with his interest in the constructions of masculinity and femininity in the late medieval and early modern periods, but has expanded to include theologies of sexuality and gender construction within religious traditions in the present day. He is particularly interested in incarnational theology -- what he calls in-bodied theology – and seeks to investigate the performative roles of gender in all of his classes. He has taught Gender and Religion and Queer Theology here on campus, and is Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies minor, working closely with a broad range of academic disciplines to expand the course offerings for the program. He is one of the faculty advisors for Feminism Is..., and is also organizing a conference on sexuality and spirituality to take place in 2014-2015 on campus.
In addition to his work in history and gender, Carlson has additional qualifications in Literature and Religion, American Religious History, Muslim-Christian Relations, Queer Studies and Religion, and the History of Monasticism. He has been invited to present papers at conferences nationally and internationally, and has contributed to various encyclopedias and written several articles. He is currently writing a chapter on views of death in early modern English literature and religion, and working on a book tentatively titled Good Men, Good Books: the Library of the Boni Homines of Ashridge, England.
He is an Episcopalian, a member of the Church of the Epiphany in Oak Park. He has taught adult education sessions at a number of local churches on the history of the Christian church. As a testament to his commitment to interreligious dialogue, he is the faculty advisor for the Hillel Club on campus. His Jewish husband and mother-in-law are thrilled.
Dr. Carlson recently moved to Thousand Oaks from the San Fernando Valley, and is delighted that he can walk to school. When he is not walking, singing, or playing the piano, Dr. Carlson reads mystery fiction, cooks, and has participated in AIDS LifeCycle, for which he raised over $3000, and rode his bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles, to provide care for AIDS patients who could not afford their medication.
He also loves watching rugby, but does not play, because he's donated enough blood already.
• Medieval and Early Modern Britain and Continental Europe.
• History of Gender/Sexuality and Religion.
• Literature and Religion.
• History of Monasticism.
• American Religious History.
• Evangelicalism, Fundamentalism and Holiness Movements.
• African-American Religion; the Black Church.
• World Religions.
• Muslim-Christian Relations.
Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University, Claremont CA: History of Religion
M.A., Claremont School of Theology, Claremont CA: History of Christianity
B.A., Wheaton College, Wheaton IL: Communications
• Quid Me Dicis Bonum?: A Study of the Library and Theology of the Good Men of Ashridge.
"Death in Word and Sacrament," in Oxford Handbook of Early Modern English Literature and Religion, Ed. Andrew Hiscock and Helen Wilcox (Oxford: Oxford University Press, scheduled 2015).
• "Sermons," in Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, 2011).
• "The Liturgical Year," in Cambridge World Shakespeare Encyclopedia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
• Review, The Last Divine Office: Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, by Geoffrey Moorhouse. In Anglican Theological Review, v. 92:3/2010.
• Review, Readers and Authorship in Early Modern England, by Stephen Dobranski. In Comitatus, v. 37/2006.
• Review, Women's Writing in English: Early Modern England, by Patricia Demers. In Comitatus, v. 37/2006.
• Review, Sacraments, Ceremonies and the Stuart Divines. Sacramental theology and liturgy in England and Scotland 1603-1662, by Bryan D. Spinks. In Anglican and Episcopal History, v. LXXIV, No. 1, March 2005.
• Review, Henry VIII and the Evangelicals, by Alec Ryrie. In Comitatus, v. 35/2004.