Interdisciplinary Religion Group

The Interdisciplinary Religion Group (IRG) is an informal working group of graduate students and faculty members whose interests involve the study of religion.  Our hope is to provide a forum where participants can workshop research-in-progress, discuss theoretical and practical issues involved in the academic study of religion, and form connections across departments at UW-Madison.  As our name suggests, we welcome participants from across the humanities and social sciences.  The IRG aims to hold monthly meetings.

If you are interested in receiving regular updates about the activities of the IRG, please contact one of the coordinators: David Schulz or Dr. Eric Carlsson.

Spring 2022

Open to graduate students and faculty members.

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We have decided to take a break with the IRG at this time. We hope to continue to discern what’s next for the IRG and our extended network of those committed to the study of religion.If you would like to be a part of planning future events, especially next year and beyond, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Until then, please subscribe to our mailing list for updates on any relevant events.

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Meet the Coordinators

David Schulz

Position title: Program Coordinator

My name is David Schulz. I grew up in a Lutheran home with some evangelical influence, and though these remain important to me, my practice has been influenced by other streams of Christianity as well; currently I am part of a small church network called Blue Ocean Faith. I was a student at UW a few years back (L&S 2014) and was a fellow at the Lubar Institute, CRGC’s predecessor; this experience expanded my understanding and appreciation of other religions, and allowed me to bring my whole self, faith included, to the academic environment. After undergrad I studied Theology at Boston University and continued to engage other spiritualities, working in interfaith at MIT. I just moved back to Madison and am excited to be working for the CRGC, as well as at a church in the area. 

Eric Carlsson

Position title: Lecturer

I study the intellectual and religious history of early modern Europe and the north Atlantic world, with a focus on the intersection of Christianity and Enlightenment thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Special areas of interest include the history of theology and biblical scholarship, the Christian humanist tradition, Jewish-Christian relations, German Pietism, and theories of secularization. My current research centers on Germany’s Protestant Enlightenment, particularly the seminal figure Johann Salomo Semler, and explores how new theories of history and novel practices of reading the Bible as a historical text were deployed to reconstruct Christian belief for what was perceived to be a new epoch in human intellectual and moral development. I teach a range of courses on thought and religion in Europe and the Atlantic world since 1500 as well as a two-semester survey of themes in Western religious thought from antiquity to the present.