James K. Wellman, Jr. is Associate Professor and Chair of the Comparative Religion Program in the Jackson School of International Studies. Teaching at the University of Washington since 2002, his areas of expertise are in American religious culture, history and politics.
Wellman’s book, Rob Bell and a New American Christianity (Abingdon Press, 2012), explores one the most well-known and controversial evangelical ministers in America. Bell, up until 2011, led a 10,000-member church, and is now pursuing Television opportunities in Hollywood. Bell’s artistry as a preacher, his fearlessness in exploring various forms of media, makes him an ideal person to examine the future horizon of American Christianity.
As Wellman wrote: “In his way, Bell is a postmodern evangelist—a slam poet, Billy Graham type, who beguiles with words, images, and ideas about a beautiful Jesus, whose stories transfix and transduce words into flesh, making incarnation the arbiter of all value.”
Wellman’s other publications include an award-winning book, The Gold Coast Church and the Ghetto: Christ and Culture in Mainline Protestantism (Illinois, 1999); two edited volumes: The Power of Religious Publics: Staking Claims in American Society, with Bill Swatos (Praegers, 1999), and Belief and Bloodshed: Religion and Violence Across Time and Tradition (Rowman and Littlefield, 2007). His 2008 monograph, Evangelical vs. Liberal: The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific Northwest (Oxford University Press), received Honorable Mention for the Distinguished Book Award by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Wellman has recently completed editing a volume with Clark Lombardi, called Religion and Human Security: A Global Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2012). This volume examines case studies on the impact of religious groups on the human security of diverse global populations.