Shelby King

Shelby King is a graduate student in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. She is also a member of UCSB’s Religion, Experience, and Mind (REM) Lab, a working group for discourse and research related to the cognitive science of religion. Her research focuses on New Religious Movements, with particular interest in transmission, translation, and transformation of religious experience narratives. She is also interested in trends of popularizing esoteric knowledge and practice in the public sphere. She is currently researching contemporary Fourth Way movements in their varying degrees of relation to traditional Gurdjieffian teachings. Contact Shelby at


Contributions by Shelby King


Having Coffee with God: Evangelical Interpretations of God as a Person Among People

Four decades ago, it would have seemed absurd to hear God characterized by American evangelical Christians in terms of personhood, with words such as audible, visible, or coffee-drinker. Characteristics attributed to God often indicate apotheosis—some quality beyond human understanding, beyond worldly constraints. Commonly used terms include supernatural, omnipotent, and incorporeal, to name a few. Four decades ago,