Ethan Gjerset Quillen

Ethan Gjerset Quillen is a doctoral candidate in religious studies at the University of Edinburgh. His dissertation centers on the border between aesthetic and ethnographic fictions and the precarious ability of reading the former as the latter. Focused on the ability of three novels by the English writer Ian McEwan to present cultural insight on the concept of developing Atheism in the last thirty years, his dissertation will evaluate the implications of how we define Atheism as well as challenge the normative claim of authority in academic texts. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Riverside in religious studies and a Master of Arts from California State University, Long Beach with an emphasis on 19th century American religious communities and New Religious Movements. He also holds two Master of Arts degrees from Baylor University – the first in American Studies, and the second from the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church State Studies, the latter focused on the ‘legality’ of Atheism under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. He has also written the essay Circular Academia: Navigating the Dangerous Waters of Term Re-Assignment for the Religious Studies Project.