Rodger Payne

Professor of Religious Studies and Department Chair
138 Zageir Hall, CPO 2860


  • Ph.D., University of Virginia (1989)
  • M.A., University of Virginia (1988)
  • M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School (1983)
  • B.A. in Religious Studies, UNC Charlotte (1980)

Courses Taught

  • RELS 178: Religious Diversity in Asheville (Honors First-Year Colloquium)
  • RELS 200: Introduction to the Study of Religion
  • RELS 215: Judaism and Christianity in the Ancient World
  • RELS 312: Religion in America to 1865
  • RELS 313: Religion in America since 1865
  • RELS 398: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
  • RELS 420: Religion and Southern Culture
  • RELS 490: Senior Research Seminar
  • HUM 214: The Medieval and Renaissance World
  • HUM 324: The Modern World

Professional Interests

My academic interests include religion in America in all its multitude of forms, but particularly religion in the South and American Catholicism.

Selected Publications

  • "Roman Catholicism" in John Lyden and Eric Mazur, ed., The Routledge Companion to Religion and Popular Culture (New York: Routledge, 2015): 419-39.
  • Southern Crossroads: Perspectives on Religion and Culture. Co-edited with Walter H. Conser, Jr. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2008.
  • The Self and the Sacred: Conversion and Autobiography in Early American Protestantism. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1998.
  • “The Wolf in the Forest: St. Francis and the Italian Eremitical Tradition,” in Cynthia Ho, Beth A. Mulvaney, and John K. Downey ed., Finding Saint Francis in Literature and Art. Palgrave, 2009, pp. 97-115.
  • "Image and Imagination in the Cult of St. Amico” in Margaret Cormack, ed., Saints and Their Cults in the Atlantic World. Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina Press, 2007, pp. 52-67.
  • "Patronus Obscurus: Devotion to St. Amico and the Italian ‘Other’ in South Louisiana,” in Ada Savin, ed., Journey into Otherness.  Amsterdam: VU Press, 2005, pp. 39-56.
  • “On Teaching Religion: A Symposium.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 65 (1997): 745-62.
  • “New Light in Hanover County: Evangelical Dissent in Piedmont Virginia, 1740-1755.” Journal of Southern History 61 (1995): 665-94.
  • "Metaphors of the Self and the Sacred: The Spiritual Autobiography of the Reverend Freeborn Garrettson.” Early American Literature 27 (1992): 31-48.
Office Hours: 


  • 2:00pm - 3:00pm


  • 3:00pm - 4:00pm


  • 2:00pm - 3:00pm