326 Market Street,
Harrisburg PA 17101
- Director, Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan Studies
- Messiah College
- Website: devincthomas.wordpress.com
- Twitter: @devinmzt
Currently, I serve as the director of the Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan Studies and as an adjunct instructor at Messiah College. I also serve in active roles in the Brethren in Christ Historical Society.
I hold degrees from Messiah College (B.A., English, 2009) and Temple University (M.A., History/Public History, 2012). I specialize in the history of 20th century American religion (especially Evangelical Protestantism) and in public memory/commemoration of religion. As a public historian, I'm interested in questions of shared authority, historical memory, and commemoration--especially within religious communities. How do we define "sacred space"? Who gets to make those decisions, and why? How do religious groups publicly memorialize their history? How does their historical memory function differently than that of other socio-cultural groups? And why might that matter for society today?
Now that I function primarily in an academic setting, I'm increasingly interested in creating scholarship that reaches diverse audiences. I'm particularly keen to leverage historical resources in the telling of history. As part of my work with my denomination's historical society, I maintain a blog and have played a role in helping our society think critically about its digital presence -- both as a means of access and outreach, as well as a way for us to continue telling our community's story in increasingly diverse ways.