Religion in

Michael J. Altman
Assistant Professor

Religion in Conflict, Colonialism, Critical Theory, Asian Religions in America

Office Phone: (205) 348-7223
Office: 205 Manly Hall

Find a copy of Dr. Altman's c.v. here.

Learn more about Prof. Altman

See his ar·ti·facts episode...

What's the Backstory on Prof. Altman...?

Read some posts on Prof. Altman's professional blog about American religious history and culture.

Read Prof. Altman's posts on the Religion in American History blog.



Michael J. Altman received his Ph.D. in American Religious Cultures from Emory University.

As of the 2014-15 academic year, Dr. Altman was hired on as an Assistant Professor in the Department.

Dr. Altman's areas of interest are colonialism, theory and method in the study of religion, media studies, and Asian religions in American culture. Trained in the field of American religious cultures, he is interested in the ways religion is constructed through difference, conflict, and contact.

Dr. Altman is currently at work on a book manuscript tentatively titled From Heathens to Hindus: Religious Difference in Protestant America. The book analyzes cultural constructions of Hinduism in 19th-century America. Beginning with American interest in India in the early republic and ending with the World's Parliament of Religion in 1893, he argues that Hinduism had an impact on American culture earlier than scholars have previously thought and that the ways Americans imagined the Hindu other shaped what counted as religion in America.

As an affiliated faculty member in Asian Studies, Dr. Altman is also working to develop the Religion in Conflict track of the curriculum. He teaches classes on topics ranging from Religion and empire to Asian religions in America. His courses are notable for their use of digital projects such as course blogs (for examples, see here and here.)

This interest in digital scholarship extends beyond the classroom. Dr. Altman is Managing Editor of Sacred Matters: Religious Currents in Culture, a web magazine housed in the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship at Emory University. He also contributes monthly to the Religion in American History blog and manages his own blog on religion, theory, and culture. He also tweets a lot.

Courses Taught

REL 105 Honors Introduction to Religious Studies

REL 130 Religion, Politics, and Law

REL 245 Honors History of Religions in America

REL 351 Asian Religions in America

REL 371 Asian Religions in American Culture

REL 483 Religion in Colonial India