DepartmentsUndergraduate Department of Anthropology
Cook School of Intercultural Studies
Biola AffiliationsFaculty
Office LocationMarshburn 12



  • Ph.D., Florida State University
  • M.S., Florida State University
  • B.A., Florida State University

Member of


Kevin Pittle is Chair of the Anthropology Department, Program Director for the undergraduate Cultural Anthropology concentration in Intercultural Studies, and is coordinator for both the Anthropology minor and the minor in Social Justice, Human Rights and Conflict Transformation. His primary academic interests center on three broad themes: (1) worldview studies (cultural knowledge, cross-cultural psychology and intercultural philosophy, especially as they relate to religion and spirituality), (2) social justice action and advocacy, conflict transformation and interreligious peacemaking, and (3) cultural continuity, change and innovation. He has conducted ethnographic research on Middle Eastern and South Asian migrants and on emerging post-secular and “boundary crossing” spiritualities, particularly neo-shamanism, Messianic Judaism, neo-kabbalah and universalist Islam.



  • Boundary Crossers: Essays on Neo-Kabbalah, Messianic Judaism and Other Para-Judaic Themes (Cross Perspectives, 2019).


  • “Bruce Grindal’s ‘Hidden Theology,’ Kabbalah and the Need for a Humanistic Theodicy” in Anthropology and Humanism Quarterly, 40.2 (December 2015): 141-156.
  • “Hooked on the Fish: The Christian Sign of the Fish (and Co-Option Thereof) as Symbolic Capital” in SIL Electronic Working Papers   (2009): 2-15.


  • “Exploring Resources and Vistas for Peacemaking and Interfaith Dialogue.” Discussant at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Jose, California, 2018.
  • “Decolonizing and Re-enchanting Judaism with the B’nei Admat Kodesh: Re(dis)covering ‘Indigenous’ Hebraic Shamanism.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Denver, Colorado, 2015.
  • “Apocalypse Now/Elsewhen: Disembodied Atemporal Models of  Jewish  Imaginal Geographies of the Extra/Intramundane.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Montreal, Canada, 2013.
  • “Impurity and Power: Anthropological Considerations of Agency, Hybridity and the Performance of Counterdesire.” Invited paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Biblical Literature; New Orleans, Louisiana, 2009.
  •  “Technologizing the Soul, Spiritualizing Science: Neo-Kabbalists at Play in the Fields (and Waves and Particles) of the Lord.” Paper presented at American Anthropological Association Meetings; Chicago, Illinois, 2009.
  • “Theological Transvestites, Duplicitous Imposters, or Just a Bunch of Wannabees? Messianic Judaism’s Ambivalent Relationships with Mainstream Jewry and Evangelicalism.” Paper presented at Society for the Anthropology of Religion Meetings; Asilomar, California, 2009.
  • “Expanded Consciousness through Imagistic Contemplation in Mystical Judaism: Metaphor, Holography and Spiritual Maps of the Infinite.” Paper presented at Society for Anthropology of Consciousness Meetings; New Haven, Connecticut, 2008.
  • “Neo-Kabbalist Discourse(s) and the Demythologization of Modernist Science.” Paper presented at Society for Anthropology of Religion Meetings; Phoenix, Arizona, 2007.
  • “Mapping Cognitive Dialects of Islamic Ethnopharmacological Practice.” Lecture presented at Oregon Summer Institute of Linguistics; Eugene, Oregon, 2005.

    Research Interests

    • Worldview
    • Cultural Continuity, Change & Innovation
    • Social Justice Action & Advocacy
    • Conflict & Conflict Transformation
    • Interreligious Peacemaking
    • Middle Eastern and South Asian Migrants
    • Folk & Popular Islam
    • Emerging Post-Secular Spiritualities


    Areas of Expertise for Media Interviews

    • Anthropology of Religion
    • Cognitive Anthropology
    • Comparative Folklore and Mythology
    • Ethnolinguistics
    • Language and Culture
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