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 across 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. As a part of his interest in gender, he is one of the faculty advisors for Feminism Is...
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: Learning in the Library of the Boni Homines of Ashridge, England.
He is an Episcopalian, a member of the Church of the Epiphany in Oak Park, where he facilitates the Theology on Tap group, which meets to imbibe in both beverages and complex discussions about God. He has taught adult education sessions at a number of Southern California churches of various denominations on the history of the Christian church.
Dr. Carlson lives in Thousand Oaks, and is delighted that he can walk to school, when he is not feeling lazy. When he is not walking, singing, talking about theology, or eating with friends, 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. Go Cal Lutheran Knights Rugby Club!
• 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