Andy Daniel Thrasher

Andy Daniel Thrasher

Andy Daniel Thrasher

Adjunct Faculty

Comparative Theology and Philosophy; Philosophical Theology; Secularism; Asian Philosophy and Religion; Systematic Theology

Andrew D. Thrasher has taught religious studies at George Mason University since 2019 and has been teaching religious studies at the community college level since 2015. While growing up in a household of nominal Christians and nones in Virginia Beach, VA, he began studying comparative theology and Hindu and Buddhist philosophy and religion at George Mason University in 2011. In 2014 after his first Master’s degree from GMU in interdisciplinary studies, he converted to Evangelical Christianity and began studying Christian theology. In 2017, he obtained a postgraduate Master degree in Theology, along with two awards for the study of theology from Regent University. In Spring 2024 he finished his doctorate in Theology and Religion from the University of Birmingham, UK, where his focus of study has been on philosophical theology, comparative theology, and sociology of religion. He has been active in the scholarship of Raimon Panikkar, a pioneer in inter-religious dialogue, and at the intersection of philosophy, religion, and popular culture. He is the lead co-editor of Theology, Fantasy, and the Imagination (with Austin Freeman and Fotini Toso), and his first monograph, An Advaitic Modernity? Raimon Panikkar and Philosophical Theology will be published in early 2024 by Fortress Press. His doctoral thesis is on the postsecular sociological and theological dimensions of the philosophy of the Canadian Catholic philosopher, Charles Taylor. His current research is in comparative and systematic theology, continental philosophy, and Asian philosophy. He is currently working on a three-volume series on comparative philosophical theology for the Christian church. He regularly teaches courses on Asian religion and philosophy, as well as introductory courses to the study of religion and religious literature with an emphasis on interpreting religious scriptures. He currently worships at an Anglican Church in Chantilly, VA.

Current Research

Andrew D. Thrasher's doctoral dissertation at the University of Birmingham analyzes the postsecular sociological and theological contributions of Charles Taylor. 

He is also active in scholarship surrounding the thought and impact of Raimon Panikkar, particularly in relation to Christian theology and western philosophy. He is currently researching the intersection of Panikkar with Asian philosophy, continental philosophy, and Christian theology. He is also researching post-Christian religiosity, with attention to non-religious responses to Christianity.

Much of his current work is on the intersection of religion and popular culture, with several forthcoming pieces on Black Panther and The Wheel of Time. He is also awaiting publication of a monograph on Post-Christian Religion in Popular Culture: Theology through Exegesis which will be published in late 2024.

Selected Publications

An Advaitic Modernity? Raimon Panikkar and Philosophical Theology (Fortress Press, 2024).

Fantasy, Theology, and the Imagination, Edited with Austin Freeman and Fotini Toso (Lanham, MD: Lexington Press, 2023).

"Valar Morghulis: Late Modern Imaginaries of Death and Nihilism in Game of Thrones," in Theology and Game of Thrones, ed. Matthew William Brake (Lanham, MD: Lexington Press, 2022).

“Modern Re-enchantment and Dr. Strange: Pentecostal Analogies, the Spirit of the Multiverse, and the Play on Time and Eternity” in Theology and the Marvel Universe, ed. Gregory Stevenson (Lanham, MD: Lexington Press, 2020).

Contributor, Raimon Panikkar: A Companion to his Life and Thought, ed. Peter Phan and Young-chan Ro (James Clarke & Co., 2018).

 

Courses Taught

RELI 100: Human Religious Experience

In his version of this course, Professor Thrasher takes students through the concept of religion and its relation to multiculturalism, comparative religion and religious ethics, with a focus on religious pluralism, the intersection of secularism and American religion, and the relationship between popular culture and religion.

RELI 212: Religions of Asia

In this survey course, Professor Thrasher navigates through the historical development of South and East Asian traditions, with attention to relevant religious scriptures of these traditions. This course is often taught asynchronously and on campus.

RELI 235: Religion and Literature

In Professor Thrasher's version of this course, he takes students through several religious scriptures, ranging from South and East Asian, as well as Biblical texts, with the intent to train students in the practice of scriptural hermeneutics.

RELI 330: Religion, Fantasy, and the Imagination

This course is reading intensive, where we navigate the religious dimensions of CS Lewis' Space Trilogy, JRR Tolkien's Silmarillion and the Lord of the Rings, closing the course with attention to focused articles dealing with the intersection of religious studies and JK Rowling's Harry Potter series.

Education

Andrew D. Thrasher finished his PhD at the University of Birmingham (UK) in Spring 2024, holds a Post-Graduate Master of Theology (ThM) from Regent University (2017), and a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from George Mason University (2014).

Recent Presentations

"Evangelical Appraisals of Raimon Panikkar"--International conference of Raimon Panikkar, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea, October 12th, 2023.

“Heidegger’s Silence, Panikkar’s Mystery: Apophatic Silence in Panikkar and Heidegger”—American Philosophical Association, Eastern Regional Meeting. Montreal, Canada. January 6th, 2023.

“I-Thou and Advaitic Love: Raimon Panikkar and Continental Thought”—10th annual Symposium for Raimon Panikkar, American Academy of Religion, Denver, CO. November 18th, 2022.

“Cosmotheandric Renewal and the Cultivation of Creation: Practical Implications of a Christian Cosmotheandric Theology of Creation for Climate Change”— Panel: Raimon Panikkar and Climate Change, American Academy of Religion, San Diego, CA. November 22, 2019.

“Re-Enchanting Secularism: Charles Taylor, Raimon Panikkar, and the Re-Enchantment of Secular Experience” –51st Annual Meeting of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, Bath Spa University, Bath, U. K. June 20, 2019.

“Reforming the Secular: Ecclesial Counter-formations and Ordinary Affirmations with James K. A. Smith and Charles Taylor” – Eastern Regional Conference of the Evangelical Theological Society, Lancaster, PA, April 6, 2018.