Margarita Simon Guillory joined the department of Religion and Classics in fall 2011 after graduating with a doctorate in Religious Studies from Rice University in Houston, Texas. She teaches courses in religion and popular culture, American religious history, and African Diasporic religions. Her research interests include American Spiritualism, identity construction in African American religion, and social scientific approaches to religion. She has published articles in Culture and Religion and Pastoral Psychology. Her latest work is a co-edited volume entitled, Esotericism in African American Religious Experience (Brill 2014)
The African American Spiritual Churches are combinatory religious sites, which blend Protestant, Catholic, Spiritualist, Haitian Voodoo, and Benin's traditional Vodun practices. Female leadership and business management has been essential in the history of these churches. Dr. Guillory's upcoming book draws on years of archival research, ethnographic observation, and oral history interviews to tell the story of these churches from 1920 to the present day.