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Hillary Kaell, PhD

Associate Professor, Religions and Cultures
Faculty Member, Centre for Sensory Studies

Hillary Kaell completed her doctorate in American Studies at Harvard University, specializing in the history and practice of North American Christianity. She is author of Walking Where Jesus Walked: American Christians and Holy Land Pilgrimage (New York University Press, 2014) and editor of Everyday Sacred: Religion in Contemporary Quebec (McGill-Queens University Press, 2017). Her current FQRSC-funded project examines the development of a global Christian imaginary through the lens of child sponsorship programs.

Dr. Kaell has written for popular audiences online and in print, and collaborated on a number of public education projects, including as a paid consultant on the PBS television series God in America. Currently, she co-curates the Anthrocybib website and co-hosts the New Books in Religion podcast. At Concordia, she teaches courses related to U.S. Christian history, material religion, and anthropology.

She is a faculty fellow with Concordia's Center for Sensory Studies and has just signed on as co-editor of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion's book series at Palgrave Macmillan press.

Research interests

North American Christianity
Anthropology of Christianity
Material culture and consumption



Field areas

Contemporary Religions and Popular Culture

Selected publications

Recent Publications Include

Editor, Everyday Sacred: Religion in Contemporary Quebec, McGill-Queens University Press, 2017.

Walking Where Jesus Walked: American Christians and Holy Land Pilgrimage.New York University Press, 2014.

“How Distrust Begets Asking and Giving in Christian Child Sponsorship” in ed. Frederick Klaits, The Request and the Gift in Religious and Humanitarian Endeavors, 93-116. Palgrave Macmillan. 2017.

“Marking Memory: Heritage Work and Devotional Labour at Quebec’s Croix de Chemin” in eds. Maya Mayblin, Kristin Norget and Valentina Napolitano, The Anthropology of Catholicism: A Reader, 122-138. University of California Press, 2017.

“Evangelist of Fragments: Mite-Box Capitalism in the Late Nineteenth Century,” Church History, 86 (1) 2017: 86-119.

Lineage Matters: DNA, Race, and Gene Talk in Judaism and Messianic Judaism,” (with Sarah Imhoff),Religion and American Culture, 27 (1) 2017:95-127.

“Seeing the Invisible: Ambient Catholicism on the Side of the Road,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 85 (1) 2017: 136-167.

“Under the Law of God: Mimetic Discipleship and Obligation among Christians Living Jewishly,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 22 (3) 2016:496–515.


Recent graduate seminars and reading courses

Anthropology and Religion

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