Braxton's Personal Information
Born in 1963 in Huntingdon, PA, we lived in and around the area until 1976. My mother was a secretary at Juniata College and my step-father worked in the Admissions office. We moved to Springfield, OH where I completed high school. In 1981, I traveled to the former West German towns of Sprentlingen and Dreieich to work. I enrolled in Ricarda-Hoch-Gymnasium as a visiting high school student. In 1982 I started at Wittenberg University where I majored in Religious Studies and minored in Political Science. During the summer of 1983, I conducted field research on the Green Party of West Germany. For the 1984-1985 academic year, I studied in Tuebingen, West Germany. I graduated from Wittenberg with a B.A. in 1986.
I married my college sweetheart Sarah in 1986 and we moved to Chicago where I received my M.A. in Religious Studies in 1987 and my Ph.D. in Ethics and Society in 1993 from the University of Chicago. My two sons, Sam and Ted, were born in Chicago in 1987 and 1989. Sarah worked in real estate analysis during our time in Chicago.
In 1989, we moved to Richmond, IN where I wrote my dissertation on historicism in the Lilly library of Earlham College. Sarah worked in the Richmond City Planning office. I also began to do consultation work for the Lilly Endowment, a relationship that last the next four years.
In 1991, we moved to Green Bay, WI where I took my first full time teaching position at St. Norbert College . I had taught in an adjunct capacity at DePaul University in Chicago and at a branch campus of Indiana University, but this was my first term appointment. From 1991-1994 I taught theology and ethics for St. Norbert College. From 1994-1995, I taught at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. During our four years, I was trained and ordained as a Lutheran minister and our daughter Grace was born in 1994.
By 1995, I was hired by Capital University in Columbus, OH. I was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 1998 and served as department chair from 1999-2001. My principal teaching duties were in religion and science, environmental ethics, and religion and culture. My wife Sarah pursued her love of libraries by becoming a librarian in the Columbus Metropolitan Library system.
In 2002, I moved to Juniata College where I was hired as the J. Omar Good Associate Professor of Religious Studies to start a new department. My principal duties here have been chairing the department, developing and expanding the program, and teaching in the areas of religion and science, religion and culture, and religion and film/digitial media.
In June 2004, the "gang of four" (Bennett, Braxton, Glazier, and Wang, instructors of the course God, Evolution and Culture) traveled to the Galapagos Islands to study the impact of eco-tourism on this global treasure. On the right, I've set up a slide show of my favorite photos from the trip.
My interests are in the future of religion in the face of science, evolutionary theory, advancements in information technology, and environmental crisis. For more on my recent work in these areas, please consult my Professional Information, Documentaries and Podcasts, and Syllabi webpages.
My non-academic interests are in gardening, fly fishing and fly tying, brewing beer, German literature, and exploring the nexus of scientific discovery, information technology, and religious experience.