Chair and Professor of Religion and American Culture

Office: 733 Wells Hall


Ph.D., University of North Carolina (Religious Studies)
M.T.S, Harvard Divinity School
B.A., Oberlin College


Amy DeRogatis is Chair and Professor of religion and American culture in the Department of Religious Studies at Michigan State University. She is the recipient of the William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award. The award recognizes excellence across the mission of the university.

Dr. DeRogatis’ research focuses on the multiple ways that religious groups, people, and communities in the US express religious ideas, commitments, beliefs, and knowledge through embodied practices.  Her most recent book Saving Sex: Sexuality and Salvation in American Evangelicalism (Oxford, 2015) delved into the history of popular evangelical sex manuals and the efforts that authors made to convince readers that embodied sexual practices and restraints constitute a form of witnessing to their faith. Her first book, Moral Geography: Maps, Missionaries, and the American Frontier (Columbia University Press, 2003) used cultural geography and spatial theory to examine white Protestant missionary efforts to shape the space of nineteenth-century northeastern Ohio. Drawing on an archive of letters, diaries, publications, and maps from the Connecticut Missionary Society, she argues that missionaries found evidence for their success by inscribing their moral values onto the physical landscape.  DeRogatis is at work on a third book, Mormon King about James Jesse Strang and the Strangite community on Beaver Island, MI. She is currently completing an article about a daguerreotype of Elvira Eliza Field Strang (Strang’s first plural wife), cross-dressed as his fictitious nephew Charley Douglass.

Dr. DeRogatis is also the co-director of the American Religious Sounds Project, a collaborative digital initiative, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, to document and interpret the diversity of American religious life by attending to its varied sonic cultures. The ARSP has recently been featured for its work on religious sounds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“‘Can I get a honk honk?’: The sound of worship in the pandemic” CBC Radio, Dec. 12, 2021.

“The Religious Sounds of COVID,” Interfaith Voices, Aired April 23, 2021.

“How the Sound of Religion has Changed in the Pandemic.” Co-written with Isaac Weiner for The Conversation, Aug 6, 2020.

MSU Prof Co-Directs Project To Capture Sounds Of Religion During Quarantine, by Kevin Lavery, WKAR, Aired June 1, 2020. 

Top of Mind with Julie Rose, BYU Radio, Aired May 27, 2020. 

Coronavirus In Ohio: Religious Houses Welcome Back Worshippers, by Adora Namigadde, WOSU, Aired May 26, 2020. Praying together over Zoom: How religion sounds during a pandemic, by Laura Arenschield, Ohio State News, May 14, 2020. 

Courses Taught

  • REL 101 Exploring Religions
  • REL 220 Religion in the United States
  • REL 291 Digital Religion
  • REL 365 Evangelicalism in the United States
  • REL 491 Religion, Sexuality and Gender
  • REL 491 Religion and the Senses