John-Charles Duffy

Areas of expertise

  • Religious pluralism in the United States
  • Church and state
  • Science and religion
  • Mormonism
  • Dynamics of new religions

John-Charles DuffyAssistant Teaching Professor
200G Upham Hall
(513) 529-4304

Vision for students: "Many of the students who enroll in my courses are not Comparative Religion majors. Initially, students are often drawn to these courses by sheer personal interest. However, the knowledge and skills these courses provide have potential market value as well for students going into a variety of fields."


B.A., English (Brigham Young University, 1995)
M.A., English (University of Utah, 1997)
M.A., Religious Studies (UNC Chapel Hill, 2006)
Ph.D., Religious Studies (UNC Chapel Hill, 2011)

International experience: Before completing his studies, Dr. Duffy worked for two-and-a-half years with mission organizations in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In the U.S., he taught English for a state program serving refugees and other immigrants from Latin America, south and southeast Asia, northeast Africa, and former communist Europe.


REL 101 - Introduction to Religion
REL/BIO 128 - Religion, Science, and Origins
REL/AMS 241 - Religions of the American Peoples
REL/AMS 341 - Protestantism and the Development of American Culture
REL/AMS/WGS 345 - Women, Religion, and Social Change in America

Dr. Duffy's courses focus on how religion has shaped U.S. history and continues to shape American culture today. His assignments give students opportunities to practice skills that are transferable to various career paths: written communication, critical reading, analytical thinking, intercultural competence, and empathetic engagement with diverse perspectives.

He brings to Miami several years' experience as an instructor of college writing, including writing for business and technical majors.

Sample assignment: In REL 241, each student researches some issue, challenge, or opportunity that religion creates for people working in the profession that the student is preparing to enter; the student then creates a one-page guide for colleagues in that profession.


Much of Dr. Duffy's scholarship examines Mormonism, as a case of a minority religion working out its place in American society. He is the co-author of a textbook, Mormonism: The Basics (Routledge, 2017). In addition, he has contributed to the essay collections Peculiar Portrayals: Mormons on the Page, Stage, and Screen (Utah State University Press, 2010) and Mormons and Popular Culture (Praeger, 2013).

Dr. Duffy is currently developing open educational resources for teaching about "religion and empire" in U.S. history, focused on issues including the subjugation of Native Americans and African Americans and the projection of US influence abroad.

Beyond the department

Dr. Duffy team-teaches, with Dr. Douglas Meikle of the Department of Biology, an interdisciplinary course on religion and evolution.

A number of Dr. Duffy's courses are cross-listed with Miami's program in American Studies. His course, "Religions of the American Peoples" (REL 241) satisfies the Farmer School of Business's diversity perspectives requirement. He has mentored students for the First Year Research Experience and has taught for the Institute for Learning in Retirement. He co-chairs Miami University's Religious, Spiritual, and Secular Initiatives Coordinating Committee.

Dr. Duffy is an editorial consultant for the journal Nova Religio. He co-chairs the steering committee of the American Academy of Religion's Religion in the American West Group.