Stephen C. Finley | LSU African & African American Studies

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Stephen C  Finley 

Associate Professor  - Religious Studies

Phone: (225) 578-7023 

Fax: (225) 578-4897


Office: 106 Coates Hall



Bachelor's Degree: Pepperdine University

Master's Degree: MA Rice University,  MA Virginia Union University

PhD: Rice University

Area of Interest

  • African American Religious Traditions
  • African American Religious Thought
  • African American Religion and Esotericism
  • Religion and Psychoanalysis 
  • Religion and Embodiment
  • Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
  • Religion in America

Recent Courses Taught

REL 4124/AAAS 4124 Special Topics in African Diaspora Religions: Black Religious Thought in the United States
REL 2000 Introduction to the Study of Religion (Theory & Method)
REL/AAAS 4400 Religious Thought of Martin Luther King, Jr. & Malcolm X
AAAS 3024 African Diaspora Intellectual Thought: Racism, Feminism & Colonialism
AAAS 4322 African Literature (Religion & Colonialism)
HNRS 3031  American Studies Seminar: Race in the Age of Obama  
REL/AAAS 4400 African American Religion (Proposed & taught, cross listed)
REL 4010 Special Topics:  Black Religion and Film

Awards & Honors

  • LSU 2011-12  Junior Faculty Travel Grant, Office of Research and Economic Development
  • LSU 2011 Summer Research Award, College of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • LSU 2011 Africana Research Award, African & African American Studies
  • 2010 Charles Redd Fellowship in Western American Studies, Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Brigham Young University. 
  • 2010, Young Scholars in American Religion, Center for the Study of African Religion and Culture, IUPUI, Finalist
  • 2009-2010 College of Arts & Sciences Travel & Research Grant
  • 2009 Nomination John W. Garnder Award (for the Best Dissertation) in the Humanities
  • Faculty Guest Coach of the Week, Cox Communications Academic Center, October 24, 2009 (LSU Football vs. Auburn)

Selected Publications


  • The Black Body in the Nation of Islam. (Under Review).
  • Associate Editor, (with Anthony B. Pinn, Editor).  Encyclopedia of African American Religious Cultures. 2  Volumes. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO (2009).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • “The Meaning of ‘Mother’ in Louis Farrakhan’s ‘Mother Wheel’: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Cosmology of the Nation of Islam’s UFO.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion (2012).
  • “‘From Mistress to Mother’: The Religious Transformation of Tynetta Muhammad in the Nation of Islam. In Third Wave Womanist Religious Thought. Edited by Monica A. Coleman. Philadelphia: Fortress Press (Forthcoming).
  • Finley, S.C., Gray, B., & Martin, L.L. 2018. Affirming Our Values: African American Scholars, White Virtual Mobs, and the Complicity of White University Administrators. Journal of Academic Freedom. 9:1-20.
  • Finley, S.C. and Martin, L.L. (2017). The Complexity of Color and the Religion of Whiteness. In Martin, L.L., Horton, H.D., Herring, C., Keith, V. and M. Thomas. (Eds.). Color Struck. The Netherlands: Senses Publishers.
  • Finley, S.C., Green, D., Martin, L.L. & Rovaris, D. (2017). Lifting As We Climb: #BlackLivesMatter and the Resurrection of Black Studies in America. Western Journal of Black Studies. 40(4): 3-12.