Spotlights & Profiles

Faculty & Staff Spotlights

Religion expert named Chancellor's Professor

May 3, 2016

Chancellor Paydar honors Philip Goff.

Chancellor Nasser Paydar, right, discusses the career highlights of Philip K. Goff, recognized as a Chancellor's Professor during this year's Honors Convocation. | LIZ KAYE / IU COMMUNICATIONS

Philip K. Goff of the School of Liberal Arts was named late last month as IUPUI's newest Chancellor's Professor during the Chancellor's Honors Convocation.

Goff is the executive director of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture in the school and has been an IUPUI faculty member since 2000. He is known for his ability to discuss the role and history of religion in American life and culture and is widely respected for his teaching abilities in and out of the classroom, his history of success for events created through the center, and his distinguished track record of publishing that has helped shape scholarship in the field of religion in American life.

In his letter nominating Goff for the award, School of Liberal Arts Dean Thomas Davis praised Goff's "rich record of publication" on topics ranging from the new evangelical social engagement to religion in the marketplace to the Bible in American life.

Davis said Goff is renowned for his insights into the role religion played on America's founding fathers and has become "the go-to person on the subject of religious radio."

Goff also is keenly involved in public teaching about religion on America. His role as a scriptwriter, consultant and interviewee for documentaries on religion's place in American culture for PBS, the BBC and HBO is an example. He has also helped author briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court in religion cases.

As a researcher, Goff specializes in American religious history. He has written or edited nearly 200 books, journal volumes, articles, reviews and scholarly papers in the field, including such recent books as "Themes in Religion and American Culture," "The Columbia Documentary History of Religion in America Since 1945," and "The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America."

"My research specialization is the interplay of religion in private and public life, especially politics and mass media," said Goff, who has raised more than $7 million for research and teaching projects. "Some of those projects are less conventional, like the Young Scholars in American Religion Program, a seminar for early-career faculty that focuses on research and teaching." The program helps deepen the scholarship that explores religion and its influences.

Goff is nearly finished writing a new book focusing on "The Old Fashioned Revival Hour," a religious program during the golden age of radio. "What was a project about a radio program morphed into a book every bit as much about the religious audience," Goff said.

The ability to adapt to changing circumstances is part of what earns Chancellor's Professor recognition, the most distinguished appointment an individual faculty member can attain at IUPUI.

Read more Faculty & Staff Spotlights stories »