Professor Information and Bio

Dr. Kathryn Chew


Kathryn ChewDr. Kathryn Chew will be joining the Religious Studies department in the 2017-2018 academic school year. 

  • Phone: (562) 985-5810
  • Location: MHB-606
  • Email: kathryn.chew@csulb.edu
  • Spring 2018 Office Hours: M 3:00-5:00 PM, T 1:00-2 :00 PM

Dr. Gabriel Estrada


gabrielestradaDr. Gabriel S. Estrada specializes in Indigenous, Queer and Media Studies in Religion. He holds a PhD in Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies from the University of Arizona,Tucson. He joined the CSULB faculty in 2005. A Steering Committee member in the Indigenous Religious Traditions Group of American Academy of Religion, Dr. Estrada has published “Navajo Sci-Fi Film: Matriarchal Visual Sovereignty in Nanobah Becker’s The 6th World” in Journal of the American Academy of Religion, “Cloud Atlas’ Queer Tiki Kitsch: Polynesia, Settler Colonialism, and Sci-Fi Film” in Journal of Religion and Film, and is currently working on a book manuscript Queer Indigenous Film. As a queer HIV+ scholar/activist and a Caxcan Nahua, Raramuri, Chiricahua Apache, and Chicana/o descendent, Dr. Estrada chairs the CSULB Committee on LGBTQ Campus climate and is a co-founder of the City of Angeles Two-Spirit Society (CATSS). 

  • Phone: (562) 985-2598
  • Location: MHB-601
  • Email: gabriel.estrada@csulb.edu
  • Spring 2018 Office Hours: TTh 1:30-3:00 PM, W 6:00-6:45 PM, and by appointment

Dr. F. Stanley Jones


stanley jonesstan jones-maryProfessor Jones specializes in New Testament and ancient Christian history. He holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale University, an M.A. in Theology from the University of Oxford, a D.Theol. in New Testament from the University of Goettingen, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Vanderbilt University. He joined the faculty in Long Beach in 1988 after having taught in Germany. Dr. Jones’s publications include numerous articles, reviews, and translations along with two of his own books: Freiheit in den Briefen des Apostels Paulus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1987), and An Ancient Jewish Christian Source on the History of Christianity (Scholars, 1995). He is currently editing and translating an ancient Christian novel in Syriac (the Pseudo-Clementines) for Brepols Publishers, Belgium. In 1990 and 1998 Dr. Jones was visiting professor at the Ecole Pracique des Hautes Etudes (Sorbonne) in Paris.

  • Phone: (562) 985-4587
  • Location: MHB-602
  • Email: stanley.jones@csulb.edu
  • Spring 2018 Office Hours: TTh 1:50-3:20 PM

Dr. Peter Lowentrout


peteProfessor Lowentrout was an undergraduate at the University of California, Riverside and received his Ph.D. in Religion/Social Ethics from the University of Southern California. Professor Lowentrout joined the Religious Studies department in 1984; he specializes in Religion and Modern Culture. He has been President of the American Academy of Religion/Western Region and President of the Science Fiction Research Association. He has written numerous articles, including “The Evocation of Good in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings” and “The War of the Worlds Panic Revisited: Science Fiction and the Angst of Secularization.” He is currently working on a book to be published by the University of California Press titled The Rags of Lordship: Science Fiction, Fantasy and the Re-enchantment of the World.

  • Phone: (562) 985-4906
  • Location: MHB-613
  • Email: peter.lowentrout@csulb.edu
  • Spring 2018 Office Hours: TTh 3:30-4:30 PM and by appointment

Dr. Sophia Pandya


ist_24_kpandya bookProfessor Pandya specializes in women, religion, and globalization. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in Near Eastern Studies/Arabic, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from U.C. Santa Barbara in Religious Studies, with a focus on women and Islam. A Fulbright scholar, she researched Muslim women’s changing religious practices in Bahrain, looking at the impact of education on women’s religious activities, which became the topic of her dissertation. Dr. Pandya worked as a part-time lecturer at CSULB during 2005-2006, and was hired as a full-time assistant professor in 2006. After spending the summer of 2006 in Sana’a, Yemen, she is currently working on a project which examines religious change among educated Yemeni women, and the implications of modernity, globalization, and education on their practices.

  • Phone: (562) 985-7982
  • Location: MHB-617
  • Email: sophiapandya@yahoo.com
  • Spring 2018 Office Hours: MW 10:00-11:00 AM and by appointment or email

Dr. Carlos R. Piar

Graduate Advisor


IMG_3881american rel divProfessor Piar obtained his Ph.D. in Religion/Social Ethics from the University of Southern California. He also holds a M.Div. and a Th.M. from Talbot Theological Seminary. He was appointed to the Department of Religious Studies in 1990. Prof. Piar has published a book titled Jesus and Liberation: A Critical Analysis of the Christology of Latin American Liberation Theology (1994). With Jon R. Stone, he has recently edited a primary-source reader, Readings in American Religious Diversity (2007). He has also written several articles on virtue ethics. He specializes in Latin American Religions, Modern Christian Thought, and Religious Ethics. A cool course for spring 2016 is RST 467: Religion of Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • Phone: (562) 985-8727
  • Location: MHB-612
  • Email: carlos.piar@csulb.edu
  • Spring 2018 Office Hours: M 10:00-11:00 AM, MW 2:00-3:00 PM, TTh 11:00-12:00 PM

Dr. David Tabb Stewart

Department Chair


dts Professor Stewart received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley – a degree focusing on Hebrew Bible and Hittitology in their  Department of Near Eastern Studies, an M.A. in Middle East Studies-Hebrew from the University of Utah, and a B.S. in Finance from the University of Oregon. He joined the CSULB faculty in 2007. His special interests include biblical and ancient Near Eastern religion and law, the literary art of the Hebrew Bible, intertextuality, and ancient notions of disability, otherness, sex and gender. Stewart has taught at Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Davis, San Francisco State University, and Southwestern University (Texas). Before his life as a professor, Stewart was involved in the management and financial guidance of a number of NGOs including ones that focused on homeless youth and college students.

  • Phone: (562) 985-1697
  • Location: MHB-620
  • Email: david.stewart@csulb.edu
  • Spring 2018 Office Hours: MW 11:15-12:00 PM and W 6:00-6:45 PM

Dr. Jon R. Stone


JRStone Online Course Photo 2015 copyAmRDProfessor Stone (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara) specializes in Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion, and also teaches courses in American Religious History and the Sociology of Religion. He has taught at CSULB since 2004. He is the author or editor of twelve books, including On the Boundaries of American Evangelicalism, The Craft of Religious Studies, Expecting Armageddon, The Essential Max Müller, and contributor to The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism. His lexicon, Latin for the Illiterati (2nd edn, 2009), was named “1997 Outstanding Reference Source” by the American Library Association. With Carlos R. Piar, Professor Stone has recently revised Readings in American Religious Diversity (2007/2012), a primary-source reader now published in four separate volumes. He has previously taught at U.C. Santa Barbara, U.C. Berkeley, CSU Bakersfield, and the University of Northern Iowa.

  • Phone: (562) 985-2146
  • Location: MHB-622
  • Email: jon.stone@csulb.edu
  • Spring 2018 Office Hours: W 2:15-3:30 PM and by appointment