Welcome to the homepage of A.T. Coates, PhD Candidate in the Duke University Graduate Program in Religion. I study the history of religions in America, specializing in conservative Christian visual culture in the 20th century. My advisor is David Morgan, author of Protestants and Pictures, Visual Piety, and The Embodied Eye (among others). I work as an editorial assistant at Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief. I’m also a contributor to the Religion Bulletin blog. You can contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m part of a growing number of scholars committed to materializing the study of religion. I spend most of my time looking at picture Bibles, Chick tracts, dispensationalist prophecy charts, creationist museum displays, Basil Wolverton’s nuclear apocalypses, and Spire “Christian Archie” comics. I’m planning to write a dissertation about conservative Protestant aesthetics c. 1910-1960. I’m interested in the sensations, materialities, media, and technologies that we end up studying as religion. I plan to explore the networks of objects, pictures, and bodies that allowed something called “fundamentalism” to emerge in American cultural life during the early 20th century.
The current header image on my site comes from an extreme close-up of a section called “The Lake of Fire” on Clarence Larkin’s dispensationalist chart “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth” (1920).