I am an Associate Professor of Ethics and Philosophy at La Sierra University and Executive Director of The John Henry Weidner Foundation for Altruism. I was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Wellesley College, and a Fulbright Scholar to Burma/Myanmar. I have taught courses in the Department of International Relations at the University of Southern California (where I earned my PhD as a Bannerman Fellow in the Program in Politics and International Relations in 2012), in the Honors Program at UCLA, in the Peace and Justice Studies Program at Wellesley College, and in the Peace Studies Program at Chapman University. I am the author of several books, including Humanism and the Death of God: Searching for the Good After Darwin, Marx, and Nietzsche (Oxford University Press, 2017), and A Good Man in Dark Times (forthcoming).
My teaching, research, and writing have bridged the humanities and social sciences, focusing in particular on questions of violence, moral theory, human rights, and religious studies. My scholarship has been shaped in important ways by my experiences growing up in Thailand, Taiwan, and Zimbabwe, which left me with a passion for travel, a commitment to cosmopolitan values, and hopefully adaptability to diverse cultural settings and challenging environments. I have worked with NGOs in Kosovo, Guinea, and Sudan. I have also conducted field research on the role of religion in resistance to the Indonesian Army’s genocidal invasion and occupation of East Timor, and on the Shining Path insurgency in Peru through a grant from the Oskar Schindler Humanities Foundation. In 2012, I had the unique experience of playing in an Ultimate Frisbee “tournament for peace” in North Korea. In 2016, I competed with team Club Rufaro in the Ngalawa Cup (a nine day, 500 km sailing race down the coast of Tanzania in traditional dugout fishing canoes with sails). In 2022, I hiked across the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, retracing the footsteps of downed Allied aviators and other evaders during World War II along Le Chemin de la Liberté (the Freedom Trail).
When not teaching, writing, or conspiring trips to new corners of the globe, I enjoy swimming, catching up on films, quality conversations with friends and family, and adventures in new cuisine. I’m a vegetarian because I find it easier sneaking up on vegetables.