Dr Tom Aechtner
Dr Tom Aechtner


Lecturer in History of Religious Thought

Contact Details:

Office: E322, Forgan Smith Building (1)
Phone: +61 7 3365 2823
Email: t.aechtner@uq.edu.au


BSc, University of Alberta
MA, University of Calgary
DPhil, University of Oxford


RELN1510 History of the Supernatural: Angels, Ghosts and Demons
RELN2000 The Idea of the Sacred
RELN2115 Religion and Science
RELN2117 Sociology of Religion

Research Interests:

My primary research interests lie in Religion-Science discourse, with a focus on propaganda in the contemporary Evolution Wars. I am especially concerned with the unremitting global spread of religiously-motivated antievolutionism, and the persuasive characteristics of Evolution Wars mass media. This includes researching Young Earth Creationist, Intelligent Design, and New Atheist communications.
I also have secondary research interests in Global Christianity, Pentecostalism, as well as religion in the African Diaspora.

Current Research Projects:

At present I am working on a project affiliated with the Faraday Institute's Uses and Abuses of Biology Programme. My own contribution to this multiyear project is entitled 'Evolution, Atheism, and Mass Persuasion.' This research initiative examines how interpretations of biological evolution are being deployed throughout New Atheist media, which is contrasted with antievolutionist rhetoric.



Journal articles

  • "Galileo Still Goes to Jail: Conflict Model Persistence within Introductory Anthropology Materials," Zygon, 50:1 (2015): 209-226.
  • "Darwin-Skeptic Mass Media: Examining Persuasion in the Evolution Wars," Journal of Media and Religion, 13:4 (2014):187–207.
  • "Online in the Evolution Wars: An Analysis of Young Earth Creationist Cyber-Propaganda," The Australian Religious Studies Review, 23:3 (2010): 277-300.

Book chapters

  • "Sannyasin," "Satori," and "Wahhabiya Islam," in The Baker Dictionary of Cults, Sects, and World Religions, ed. H. Wayne House (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic [forthcoming]).
  • "Standing at the Crux: Pentecostalism and Identity Formation in an African Diaspora Christian Community," in Many Tongues: Globalization and the Transformation of Pentecostalism, ed. Michael Wilkinson (Boston: Brill, 2012), 171-194.

Reviews and Other Publications

  • "Christianity and Science: A Messy Relationship Worth Studying. In Vaidya, Kishor (Ed.), Christianity for the Curious: Why Study Christianity? Online: Curious Academic Publishing, 2014.
  • Review of Science and the Spirit: A Pentecostal Engagement with the Sciences, ed. James K. A. Smith and Amos Young in Canadian Journal of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity, 2:1 (2011): 166-170.
  • Review of God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist, by Victor J. Stenger in Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 4:3 (2010): 231-2.
  • Review of Saving Creation: Nature and Faith in the Life of Holmes Rolston III, by Christopher J. Preston in Theological Book Review, 21:2 (2009): 62-63.

On this site