Kristian Petersen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. He specializes on two main areas of research 1) the development of Islam in China, and 2) Muslims in Cinema.
He has brought his scholarship to public audiences in The Revealer, Al Jazeera English, New Lines Magazine, Sapelo Square, The Maydan, keeping it 101: a killjoy’s introduction to religion, The Classical Ideas Podcast, and The Religious Studies Project.
His first book, Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab, was published with Oxford University Press in 2017.
He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinematic Lives of Muslims. He is the editor of the edited volumes Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology, and New Approaches to Islam in Film, in the series Routledge Studies in Religion and Film.
He is very interested in fostering the expansion of digital tools in the study of religion. He is on the advisory board for the forthcoming Introductions to Digital Humanities: Religion series published with De Gruyter. This series of edited volumes explores the intersections of digital humanities research tools and the study of religion. Volumes offer overviews of current methodologies, techniques, tools, and projects as well as defining challenges and opportunities for further research. He is co-editor, with Christopher Cantwell, of the Digital Humanities and Research Methods in Religious Studies: An Introduction volume in the series.
His own contribution to digital scholarship is as the Design Architect and Curator of the Women of Islamic Studies project, a crowdsourced database of women scholars who work on Muslims and Islam.
Other publications can be found in Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Modern Asian Studies, Journal of Sufi Studies, Journal of Religion & Society, Philosophy East and West, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, and Oxford Islamic Studies Online.
He is an active member of the American Academy of Religion. He is an Advisory Board member for Religious Studies News, the AAR’s web magazine, and produces several podcasts interviews with Book Award and Research Grants winners. He is on the Editorial Board for AAR’s Reading Religion, an open access book review. He currently serves on the steering committee for the Study of Islam Unit and the Religion, Film, and Visual Culture Unit, and previously served for the Contemporary Islam Unit (2012-2017). He organized THATCamp “The Humanities and Technology Camp” at the 2013 and 2014 American Academy of Religion annual meetings. He was also a part of the AAR’s Publishing Task Force, and helped co-write the American Academy of Religion’s Guidelines for Evaluating Digital Scholarship with Timothy Beal, Christopher Cantwell, Ted Vial, and Jeri E. Wieringa
One of his most interesting endeavors is serving as host of the New Books in Religion and New Books in Islamic Studies podcasts on the New Books Network where he discusses exciting scholarship with authors of new books.