Joel E. Tishken
Assistant Professor of History
Wilson-Short Hall 341 – 509-335-8371
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2002
M.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1997
B.A., University of Wisconsin, Parkside, 1993
Academic & Professional Interests
Tishken teaches courses on African history, world history, world religion. His research interests are in South Africa, colonial Africa, African Christianities, neo-indigenous religions, and the theory and pedagogy of religion.
Tishken has a manuscript contracted with Peter Lang titled Isaiah Shembe's Prophetic Uhlanga: The Worldview of the Nazareth Baptist Church in Colonial South Africa (forthcoming mid-2013). In it, Tishken argues that prophecy should be considered the nazareth Baptist Church's uhlanga, or "source," that originated, defined, shaped, and reified their worldview. The prophetically-generated worldview of Shembe and his congregation served them as a particular navigational mechanism through the course of colonial South Africa, and was maintained by their documentary record, history, memory, identity, and theology.
His future research plans include a historiographical and theoretical examination of scholarly uses of "God" within the study of Zulu indigenous religion, an exploration of animal symbolism within the Nazareth Baptist Church, and a comparison of the theology of the Nazareth Baptist Church with other forms of non-Trinitarianism. From Oct. 2009-Feb. 2013 he will serve as one of the co-general editors of the journal Nova Religio. Some of his noteworthy publications include:
Isaiah Shembe’s Prophetic Uhlanga: The Worldview of the Nazareth Baptist Church in Colonial South Africa New York: Peter Lang (forthcoming mid-2013)
Coedited with Toyin Falola and Akintunde Akinyemi, Sàngó in Africa and the African Diaspora, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.
Guest-editor, Nova Religio, 13: 1 (Aug. 2009), special edition on African Christianity
"African Independence Movements." In Atlantic Worlds, ed. by Kevin Roberts and Toyin Falola. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008, pp. 249-274.
Guest editor, Bulletin of World History, 23: 1 (Spring 2007), special edition on religion in world history
"Lies Teachers Teach about World Religious History." Bulletin of World History 23: 1 (Spring 2007): 14-18.
"The History of Prophecy in West Africa: Indigenous, Islamic, and Christian." History Compass 5: 5 (2007): 1468-1482.
"Whose Nazareth Baptist Church?: Prophecy, Power, and Schism in South Africa." Nova Religio 9: 4 (May 2006): 79-97.