Devin C. Manzullo-Thomas
Assistant Professor of American Religious History
Director of the E. Morris and Leone Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan Studies
Director of Archives
Office: Boyer 101E
Phone: 717-766-2511 ext. 5235
Devin Manzullo-Thomas is assistant professor of American religious history, director of the E. Morris and Leone Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist and Wesleyan Studies, and director of archives at Messiah University.
Devin regularly teaches courses in the Biblical, Religious, and Philosophical Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies departments at the university.
In his scholarship, Devin pursues two distinct research agendas. As a denominational historian of the Brethren in Christ Church, he draws on his training in cultural and religious history to understand how this small religious community has changed over time. As a public historian of American religion, he studies the ways in which religious communities—especially Christian communities—construct, commemorate, and contest the past in public through historical societies, heritage sites, museums, monuments, archives, and other institutions of public memory.
Devin is the author of Exhibiting Evangelicalism: Commemoration and Religion's Presence of the Past, published in 2022 by the University of Massachusetts Press in their "Public History in Historical Perspective" series. The book is the first history of museums and historic sites operated by evangelical Christians in the United States. In addition, Devin's articles and reviews have appeared in Church History, The Christian Century, Fides et Historia, Brethren in Christ History and Life, Mennonite Quarterly Review, The Wesleyan Theological Journal, Anabaptist Witness, The Conrad Grebel Review, and other scholarly and popular publications.
Courses Taught (selected)
- IDFY 101 & 102 (Honors): Give Peace a Chance: Explorations in the Christian Peace Tradition
- IDCR 151: Created and Called for Community (syllabus)
- THEO 205: Introduction to Christian Theology (syllabus)
- THEO 211: Brethren in Christ Life and Thought (syllabus)
- THEO 217: Wesleyan/Holiness Theology (syllabus)
- HIST 391: Historical Study of Peace
- Exhibiting Evangelicalism: Commemoration and Religion's Presence of the Past (Amherest, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2022).
- "The American Tradition of Tearing Down Statues." Review of Erin L. Thompson, Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America's Public Monuments, in The Christian Century (September 2022): 82-84.
- "Billy Graham's Heart Religion: Emotion and the Rise of 'America's Pastor,'" Fides et Historia 52, no. 2 (Summer/Fall 2020): 50-71.
- “Encounters with the Spirit among the Quiet in the Land: A Case Study of American Mennonites and Charismatic Renewal,” in Charismatic Renewal in Europe and the United States Since 1950, eds. Andrew Atherstone, Mark Hutchison, and John Maiden (London: Brill, 2021): 190-214.
- "From Second Work to Secondary Status: The Shifting Role of Holiness Theology in the Brethren in Christ Church," Wesleyan Theological Journal 52, no. 2 (Fall 2017): 63-91. Reprinted in Brethren in Christ History and Life 42, no. 2 (August 2019): 249-279.
- "Sacred Subjects: Interpreting Religion and Engaging Religious Publics at U.S. Museums." Presented at the Sixth World Conference of the International Federation of Public History, Berlin, Germany, 19 August 2022.
- Participant, “The Imaginary Turn in Evangelical Scholarship.” Roundtable discussion at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Church History, New York City, 4 January 2020.
- “Interpreting ‘America’s Pastor’: Evangelicalism, Public Commemoration, and the Many Meanings of Billy Graham.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Organization of American History, Philadelphia, Pa., 4 April 2019.
- Participant, “Radical Activists, Faith Communities, Settlement Houses, and More: The Many Roots of Public History and Why They Matter for the Future of the Field.” Roundtable discussion at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Public History, Hartford, Conn., 28 March 2019.
Devin is currently working on two book projects. The first is Storyteller: The Life and Times of E. Morris Sider, a scholarly biography of E. Morris Sider, the namesake of the Sider Institute and one of the most prolific scholars in the Brethren in Christ Church. The second is Open to the Spirit: The Brethren in Christ Church in the Twentieth Century, a new history of the Brethren in Christ Church in North America between 1900-2000. Both projects are under contract with the Brethren in Christ Historical Society.