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J. Derrick Lemons

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Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Theologically Engaged Anthropology

J. Derrick Lemons is an Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, USA. He is the Director of the Center for Theologically Engaged Anthropology and the Religion Fellow for the Willson Center for Humanities and Art at the University of Georgia. He is the Past President (2019-2020) and Regional Representative (2019-2023) of the American Academy of Religion for the Southeastern Region.

Dr. Lemons graduated from Southern Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Science in Religion (1994) and from Asbury Theological Seminary with a Master’s (1997) and Doctorate (2008). His research and teaching are guided by his interest in the intentional innovations of religious subcultures and the influence of theology in religion across time and space. Currently, he serves as the PI of a $327,000 John Templeton Foundation grant that is researching rapid religious change. Previously, he served as the PI of a $217,000 John Templeton Foundation grant to establish the field of Theologically Engaged Anthropology.

He is the author of An Introduction to Theologically Engaged Anthropology (Ethnos 2020); Theologically Engaged Anthropology (Oxford University Press 2018); Anthropology and Theology (In Oxford Bibliographies in Anthropology 2018); An Afterword: Conversations among Theology, Anthropology and History (St. Mark’s Review 2018); The Slain Resurrected God: A Reconsideration of Anthropologists and the Christian Faith (The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology 2018); The ‘Us-Them’ Dilemma: The Need for Reflexivity while Teaching Interreligious Encounters (In Teaching Interreligious Encounters, Oxford University Press 2017); Feels Right Exegesis: Qualitative Research on How Millennials Read the Bible (In The Bible in American Life, Oxford University Press 2017); The Christian Faith and The Ethics of Everyday Life: The Next Word (The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology 2015); Communitas at the Tables: Jesus, the Marginalized, and the Modern Church (The Asbury Journal 2015).

Professor Lemons teaches Introduction to Religious Thought (RELI 1003, 2003H), Anthropology and American Religion (RELI/ANTH 4110, 6110), and Theologically Engaged Anthropology (RELI/ANTH 4111, 6111). In 2014, Derrick was awarded the University of Georgia Student Government Association Outstanding Professor Award and honored as a Discovery Program Namesake by the University of Georgia Dawg Camp Executive Board.


Phone: 706-206-1927

Center for Theologically Engaged Anthropology Website:


DMin, Asbury Theological Seminary

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