Project Team:

Wesley J. Wildman (Philosophy, Religious Studies, Scientific Study of Religion) is Professor of Philosophy, Theology, and Ethics at Boston University and director of an innovative humanities-science doctoral program in Religion and Science. He holds a PhD in systematic theology, philosophical theology, and philosophy of religion from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. His primary research and teaching interests are in philosophy of religion, theology, ethics, and the scientific study of religion. He is particularly interested in what light can be shed on religious behaviors, beliefs, and experiences from the biological and human sciences. He is co-founder of the Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion, a research institute dedicated to the scientific study of religion (

Catherine Caldwell-Harris (Psychology) is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Boston University. She holds a PhD in cognitive science and psychology from the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests are broad and encompass diverse aspects of language processing, including second language acquisition, emotional aspects of language, and word recognition. Her teaching interests span cross-cultural psychology, cognitive science, psycholinguistics, cognitive development, developmental psychology, and individual differences. She has recently expanded her interests into the area of religion where she has done innovative research in atheism and the religiosity of people with autism-spectrum disorders.

Aimee S. Radom (Psychology) recently finished her PhD in counseling psychology and religion at Boston University. Her dissertation used structural equation modeling to explore differences in cognitive and personality style among religious conservatives and religious liberals. Aimee joined IBSCR in March 2011 as a postdoctoral research fellow, where she is currently working on the Spectrums Project.

Ravi Iyer, Ph.D., is an active researcher at the University of Southern California and a data scientist at Ranker. Ravi loves to use data to study intangible things such as values, ideology, and happiness. He blogs regularly at and is a director of CivilPolitics.Org. Ravi is working on the Spectrums Project within the Institute. For more information about Ravi, see Google Scholar.

Connor P. Wood is a doctoral student in the Division of Religious and Theological Studies at Boston University, having completed a master's degree focusing on religion and science at Boston University's School ofTheology. His research interests include the potential adaptive functions of religion, religion and health, and the public understanding of issues in science and religion. He is an IBSCR Lindamood Fellow and an editor for the IBCSR website. He joined the Spectrums Project in May 2010.

Nicholas C. DiDonato is a doctoral student in the Division of Religious and Theological Studies at Boston University, having completed a master’s degree focusing on religion and science at Princeton Theological Seminary. His research interests include how Christian beliefs and practices need to be reconceived in light of developments in the physical and human sciences. He is an IBSCR Lindamood Fellow and an editor for the IBCSR website. He joined the Spectrums Project in September 2010.

Project Consultants

Dino P. Christenson (Political Science) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Boston University, where he specializes in the study of American politics and quantitative methods. His research focuses on voting behavior, campaign dynamics, political sophistication, public opinion and interest groups. He has broad methodological interests, including survey and experimental research, longitudinal data models, Bayesian models, social network analysis, automated text analysis and causal inference. He is also the co-organizer of the Research in American and Comparative Politics Workshop (RAC). He holds a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago, a master’s degree in international studies from the Università degli Studi di Trento in Trent, Italy, and a PhD in political science from The Ohio State University.

Shiela Greeve Davaney (Religious Studies and Contemporary American Politics and Religion) joined the Ford Foundation in 2007, and is presently working on an initiative to increase the public presence and effectiveness of diverse religious perspectives dedicated to social justice. In this role, she encourages a rigorous and informed public engagement of religion and its role in the public sphere. Her grant making focuses on developing justice-oriented faith-based groups, coalitions and leaders, diversifying and enhancing media coverage of religion, and supporting related research. Previously, Sheila was the Harvey H. Potthoff Professor of Christian Theology at Iliff School of Theology in Denver. Sheila holds masters and doctoral degrees in theology and study of religion from Harvard University. Her major scholarly work has focused on historicism, pragmatism and feminist thought.

John T. Jost (Political Psychology) is Professor of Psychology at New York University. His main research focuses on the theoretical and empirical implications of system justification theory, which addresses the holding of attitudes that are often contrary to one's own self-interest and therefore contrary to what one would expect on the basis of theories of self-enhancement or rational self-interest. He is also involved in research projects on stereotyping, prejudice, ideology, intergroup relations, social justice, and political psychology. John is Editor of the Oxford University book series in Political Psychology and has a special interest in the underlying cognitive and motivational differences between liberals and conservatives, that is, the psychological basis of political ideology. He holds a master’s in philosophy from the University of Cincinnati and master’s and doctoral degrees in social psychology from Yale University.

Valerie A. Lewis (Sociology) joined the Saguaro Center at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government under the direction of Robert Putnam as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2009, where she worked with the Putnam-Campbell group (authors of American Grace) on an analysis of contemporary American religion. She was recently offered a lecturer position at Dartmouth College. She holds masters and doctoral degrees in sociology from Princeton University. Her research interests include urbanization and development, race and ethnic relations, urban sociology, demography, poverty and inequality, and more recently, religion. Her dissertation used a mixed-methods approach to examine how slum residents in India are disadvantaged in health and education; her subsequent research broadly examines the consequences of concentrated stigma and inequality.

F. LeRon Shults (Philosophy and Theology) is Professor of Theology and Philosophy in the Institute for Religion, Philosophy, and History at the University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway. He has written or edited 11 books and published over 40 scientific articles and book chapters addressing religion and human life in the context of the contemporary human and physical sciences. Shults holds a master’s degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, a PhD in education from Walden University, and a PhD in theology and philosophy from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has also served as a Research Fellow at Oxford University and Rijksuniversiteit Gröningen.