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Nathan Fleeson

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
PhD Candidate
Instructor of Record

Nathan E. Fleeson (he/him) is a PhD candidate in the Religion Department at the University of Georgia where he is currently working on his dissertation, "To Cuiviénen There Is No Return: English and American Fantasy Literature as a Second Hagiography." His work explores the ways that fantasy literature, like The Lord of the Rings or Percy Jackson evoke the religious imagination. In this dynamic, fantasy provides a hagiographic frame of mind to mediate our relationship with God and the world around us.

While at UGA, Nathan is also working on a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies, and would like to work with special collection archives and rare book libraries. As part of his certificate program, Nathan has interned and put together exhibits with multiple institutions. This includes an internship at Emory University's Pitts Theology Library (Digital Exhibition: "My Eyes Beheld an Eerie Sight: The Place of Monsters in Theology"), curating an exhibit case for UGA's Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library ("Not All Vampires are Evil"), and a Spring 2022 internship with the Georgia Museum of Art (African American and African Diasporic Art).

In Fall 2022, he is teaching RELI 1003 (Introduction to Religious Thought) at MWF 11:30-12:20 (CRN: 48028) and MWF 1:50-2:40 (CRN: 48029). In this class, we will be using Percy Jackson to think about theories of religion, ethics, and myth. Ultimately, our question is whether something like Percy Jackson and fandom can function as religion.

In Spring 2023, he is teaching RELI 4600 (Religion and Literature) on MWF at 10:20-11:10 (CRN: 60565). Readings will include theory in Religion and Literature and J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion and The Hobbit. Conversations will relate to the role of literature for religious instruction, fantasy fandom as religion, and the place of Play in religion.

Education:
  • MTS (History, Scripture, Tradition of Christianity), Emory University, Candler School of Theology (2018)
  • BA (Religion), University of Georgia (2016)
Research Interests:
  • Religious Theory
  • Christian Hagiography
  • Fantasy Literature
  • Fandom/Media Studies
  • Museum and Archival Studies
Courses Regularly Taught:

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