Donovan Schaefer
Departmental Lecturer in Religion and Science


After taking a PhD in Religion from Syracuse University in 2012, I began a two-year Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Haverford College outside Philadelphia. In 2014, I joined Oxford as a Departmental Lecturer in Religion and Science.


In addition to my lecturing on my core area of religion and science, I give tutorials for courses related to nature of religion, theory and method in the study of religion, philosophy of religion, and religion and globalization.  


My research focuses on the role of embodiment – especially embodied emotion – in religion and contemporary (post)secularism. I am interested not only in combining approaches drawn from the life sciences with poststructuralism in religious studies, but in studying formations of scientific atheism and secularism as cultures that are tinged by religion even as they diverge from it.

Selected Publications

  • Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power (Duke, 2015). For more information please click here.
  • ‘Blessed, Precious Mistakes: Evolution, Deconstruction, and the New Atheism in America.’ International Journal for Philosophy of Religion (76), 2014.
  • ‘Embodied Disbelief: Poststructural Feminist Atheism.’ Hypatia 29(2), 2014.
  • ‘The Promise of Affect.’ Theory and Event 16(2), 2013.
  • ‘Do Animals Have Religion? Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Religion and Embodiment.’ Anthrozoos 25(S1), 2012.