Jordan desert
  • Associate Instructor, World Languages and Cultures

Research Statement

Most of my scholarly work has been directed towards the history of thought, especially the history Christian thought. My Ph.D. dissertation focused on 18th-century France and the critique of Christianity in the Marquis de Sade’s work and in the philosophical tradition of the period; this led me to several publications on the relationship between philosophy, literature, and religion during the French Enlightenment and I am currently finishing a project on revolutionary religious celebrations. I also explored the relationship between prison systems and the Christian model/discourse about penance and confession. My work focused on Eastern State Penitentiary, opened in 1829 by the Quaker authorities in Philadelphia. Most recently, I have had the opportunity to conduct some fieldwork in Israel/Palestine and to explore the intersection between religion and peacemaking; I have been developing several projects pertaining to models of religious peacebuilding.

After teaching in Switzerland for a few years, I joined the University of Utah faculty in 2004; since then, my main endeavor has been the creation of an interdisciplinary program in religious studies. The minor was approved by the State of Utah in 2009 and on July 13, 2012, the Board of Regents of the State of Utah approved the creation of the new major in Religious Studies. More than ever, religion is now considered to be a field of general inquiry that belongs to the Liberal Arts curriculum and a very high value is placed on interreligious literacy. The program at the UU is widely interdisciplinary and offers to students an excellent opportunity to broaden their horizons and encounter various worldviews while acquiring critical tools. 

Research Keywords

  • Religion and peacemaking


  • French, fluent.
  • German, functional.
  • Spanish, functional.

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • Switzerland
  • Israel
    and Palestine.
  • France
  • Costa Rica


  • « Si tu marches au milieu du feu, tu ne seras pas brûlé » : les prophéties d’Ésaïe, Christine de Pizan et la lecture messianique de Jeanne d’Arc in: Danielle Buschinger et alii (éd.), Christine de Pizan et son époque, Amiens: Presses du Centre d’Études Médiévales, Université de Picardie-Jules Verne, Médiévales 53, pp. 178-189. Published, 12/2012.
  • Le principe de charité chez Mabillon élargi au système carcéral séculier: un pont entre pénitence et pénitencier" in: Jean Leclant, André Vauchez & Daniel-Odon Hurel (eds), Dom Jean Mabillon, figure majeure de l’Europe des lettres, Paris: Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 2010: 479-495. Published, 04/2010.
  • Reading Diderot’s La Religieuse as an Evangelical Novel. Religion in the Age of Enlightenment 2 (2010): 303-321. Published, 04/2010.
  • Sade ou l’église défroquée: la puissance du sacrilège." Romanic Review 98/4, November 2007: 343-359. Published, 11/2007.
  • Topic of Lament: Sylvie Germain’s Invitation to a Journey and the Memory of Evil. Religion and Literature 39/2, Summer 2007: 55-69. Published, 08/2007.
  • La mascarade des coupables: le jeu des masques dans Le Panoptique de Bentham." Laval Théologique et Philosophique 60/3, October 2004: 543-556. Published, 10/2004.
  • Le modèle d’emprisonnement des Quakers: la notion weberienne d’ascétisme séculier appliquée à la réhabilitation des criminels. Etudes Theologique et Religieuses 78, 2003/4: 499-516. Published, 10/2003.
  • The Sacrament of Penance in Sade’s Writing: A Practice between Hell and Apathy. Eighteenth-Century Fiction 15/3-4, 15/3-4, April-July 2003: 761-778. Published, 04/2003.
  • The Eye of God: Religious Beliefs and Punishment in Early Nineteenth-Century Prison Reform. Theology Today 59/4, January 2003: 546-558. Published, 01/2003.
  • Le soufre au bord de la chaire. Sade et l'Evangile. Geneva: Labor et Fides. Published, 01/2001.