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Sylvester Johnson is Assistant Professor of Religion at Indiana University Bloomington, where he teaches American religious history. His book The Myth of Ham in Nineteenth-Century American Christianity: Race, Heathens, and the People of God (Palgrave Macmillan 2004) was selected for the American Academy of Religion's Best First Book Award in the History of Religions in 2005. Johnson is also a fellow of the Young Scholars of American Religion program coordinated by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.
His research interests include the relationship between scriptures and race in the United States, the role of biblical narrative in the American religious imagination, and the postcolonial interplay of race, gender, and sexuality in the constitution of modern identities. He is currently working on a study of the concept of he heathen and biblical commentaries in American religious history.