Doug Valentine

Areas of Study: 
  • death and dying
  • sociology of religion
  • the body
  • social theory
Research and Teaching: 

Mizzou: Sociology 3450: Sociology of Religion, Sociology 3100: Recent Theories in Sociology, Religious Studies 3100: Religious Literacy for the Professions and Public, Religious Studies 2110: Religions of the World.

Numerous sociology and religion courses at Central Methodist University.

Faculty with the Missouri Scholars Academy since 2012


I received my B.S. from Bradley University in Peoria, IL in 2008 and my M.A. from the University of Missouri in religious studies in 2012. I am a qualitative scholar with several areas of interest. My most recent project explored the role of affect and memorial in contemporary body modification. Currently, I am investigating the American death industry with an eye to several important topics, including the economics of cremation, socio-historical inequalities in deathcare, and the home-burial movement. I am also very interested in theory and method in the sociology of religion, with particular attention to measuring/theorizing religion in a non-Western context. Rather than thinking of religion as a discrete, independent variable informed almost exclusively by Western and Christocentric studies, or as a waning phenomenon in an increasingly secular age, we need nuanced theory and method for those rituals and attitudes we’ve come to discursively classify as “religion” over the past two hundred years.

Awards and Honors: 

Green Chalk Teaching Award, College of Arts and Science (2012)

Standing Ovation Award, Missouri Scholars Academy Alumni Association (2015)

Green Chalk Teaching Award, College of Arts and Science (2016)

Irma Mathes Award for Excellence in Teaching (2017)

Select Publications: 

Douglas R. Valentine (2015): Talking to the Dead: Religion, Music, and Lived Memory among Gullah/Geechee Women, by LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014, xix + 278 pp. ISBN 978-082-235663-9, US$89.95 (cloth); ISBN 978-082-235674-5, US$24.95 (paperback), RELIGION, DOI: 10.1080/0048721X.2015.1075122