John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics Awards Three Postdoctoral Fellowships for 2023-2024

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The John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis is pleased to announce it has awarded three postdoctoral fellowships to exceptional early career scholars. The fellowships will begin with the 2023-2024 academic year and are renewable for the following year.

Michael Baysa is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of religion at Princeton University and has taught at New York University. He specializes in the intersecting histories of religion and media technologies in the U.S. with particular attention on the influence of publishing intermediaries and cultural brokers on religious authority. His dissertation is titled “Unpublishing Religion: How Anglo-Protestant Printing Constrained Public Speech in Early America.” Michael earned master’s degrees from Boston University School of Theology and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, as well as a B.S. from Boston University.

Judah Isseroff is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of religion at Princeton University. His research interests have spanned constructive Jewish theology as well as American Judaism and the politics of race. His dissertation is titled, “’Given and not made:’ Hannah Arendt as Jewish Thinker” and the project he plans to start during his postdoc is tentatively titled “Antisemitism On and Off the Court: Sports Media and the New Politics of Antisemitism.” Judah attended seminary at Yeshivat Hadar and graduated cum laude with a B.A. from Bowdoin College.

Eric Stephen is completing his J.D. at Yale Law School and Ph.D. in the study of religion at Harvard University. His work explores the dynamic relationship between judicial and popular understandings of religious liberty in both historical and contemporary contexts. His dissertation examines the precipitous rise of legal efforts to deploy language of the “secular” and “secularism” to describe the American constitutional experiment in late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Eric earned master’s degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Wesleyan University, and he received his B.A. from Wesleyan University.

The three awardees bring to 30 the number of fellows supported by the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics since the inauguration of the fellows program in 2012. These awardees represent an exceptional pool of diverse individuals from 17 different institutions, working in several fields and disciplines on the intersections of religion and politics.

The fellowships are one expression of the Center’s mission to support scholars early in their careers. Fellows work to complete their first book projects during their term at the Center, and they actively participate in the intellectual life of the Center and the University through teaching undergraduate students, joining the Center’s biweekly interdisciplinary seminar, and engaging our lively slate of public events.

The John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics was established in 2010 and is located on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. The Center serves as an open venue for fostering rigorous scholarship and informing broad academic and public communities about the intersections of religion and U.S. politics.

For more information about the Center’s fellowship programs, please see