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Briane Turley

Adjunct Associate Professor

Teaching Fields

  • American Religious History
  • Religion and Culture in the US South
  • Modern European History
  • History of Christianity and Christian thought


  • Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1994
  • M.A., University of Virginia, 1984 
  • M.Div., Nazarene Theological Seminary, 1984
  •  B.A., West Virginia University, 1981

Research Interests

Dr. Turley is interested in Modern European and American Religious History. His approach, which is inspired by his work with graduate advisors John Corrigan and Edward Ayers, assumes that social history and history of ideas are not mutually exclusive. He is especially interested in gathering and interpreting narratives from the living and from the literary remains of the dead. He is also a geographer interested in understanding ways that geographical space influences human culture and how various cultures eventually recognize unique geographic space as “place.”

Dr. Turley is currently pursuing research on the rise of American exceptionalism and the US civil religion. He has also begun to examine the social and religious history of southern West Virginia and is especially interested in the proliferation of Jewish Synagogues in the region’s coalfield communities after 1900. For more information, visit Turley’s American Religious Experience site at




(co-authored with John Super), Religion in World History: The Persistence of Imperial Communion (London: Routledge, 2006).

A Wheel Within a Wheel: Southern Methodism and the Georgia Holiness Association (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1999).

Selected Articles

"Ministers and Masters: Methodism, Manhood, and Honor in the Old South," Louisiana History Journal, Summer 2014.

“The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies,” Journal of Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture, November 2010.

“Religion and the Rise of Nationalism: A Profile of an East-Central European City,” Journal of Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture, March 2007.

(with Rodger Payne), “Navigating a New Landscape: Religious and Technological Pluralism in Diana Eck's On Common Ground,Journal of the American Academy of Religion, September 1999.

“John Wesley and War,” Methodist History, January 1991, pp. 96-111.

"A Wheel Within a Wheel: Southern Methodism and the Georgia Holiness Association,"

Georgia Historical Quarterly, Summer 1991, pp. 295-322.


Turley has received four Fulbright Awards including a Lectureship at the University of Szeged in Hungary, the Alumni Initiative Fulbright, and two lectureships granted under the Fulbright Specialist Roster program. In September 2011, the University of Szeged faculty awarded him their highest honor, the Pro Facultate Philosophiae Medal for his pioneering work in the digital humanities and online publishing. He remains only the second scholar in the school’s history to receive the award.