Donald A. Westbrook
Donald A. Westbrook
Los Angeles, California
History of Religion, New Religious Movements, American Religious History, Coptic Studies, Middle Eastern
Christianity, Sociology of Religion, Ethnography, Diaspora Studies
- Ph.D. Religion, Department of Religion, Claremont Graduate University (2015)
Dissertation: "A People’s History of the Church of Scientology"
- M.A. Theology, School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary (2009)
- B.A. Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley (2006)
- Hoogleraar (Professor) and Mentor of Research Team, FVG (2016-present)
- Lecturer, Center for the Study of Religion, University of California, Los Angeles (Spring 2016-)
- Adjunct Assistant Professor of Church History, Department of Church History, Fuller Theological Seminary
- Research Associate, St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society, Los Angeles (2015-present)
- Research Associate, Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia (CCE) Project, Claremont Colleges Digital Library,
Claremont, CA, USA (2012-present)
- (Does Not Include Forthcoming/In Process)
- Westbrook, Donald A., and Saad Michael Saad. “Religious Identity and Borderless Territoriality in the
Coptic e-Diaspora,” Journal of International Migration and Integration (2016).
- Westbrook, Donald A. “Walking in Ron’s Footsteps: ‘Pilgrimage' Sites of the Church of Scientology,” Numen:
International Review for the History of Religions. Special Issue on Scientology 63:1 (2016): 71-94
- Saad, Saad Michael, and Donald A. Westbrook. “Copts, Scripturalization, and Identity in the Diaspora.” In
Vincent L. Wimbush, ed., Scripturalizing the Human: The Written as the Political. New York: Routledge,
- Westbrook, Donald A. “Christian Science and Scientology: Ecclesiologies Compared," Acta Comparanda:
Subsidia II. Special Issue on Christian Science (2015).
- ___. “Saint Hill and the Development of Systematic Theology in the Church of Scientology (1959-1967),”
Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 6:1 (2015): 111-155.
- Saad, Saad Michael, Nardine Saad Riegels, and Donald A. Westbrook. “Traditions of Selecting Coptic
Patriarchs Over Two Millennia.” Journal of Coptic Studies 16:1 (2014).
- Westbrook, Donald A. “Scientology as ‘Spiritual Technology.’” Cosmologics Magazine. Harvard Divinity
School, 3 September 2014.
- ___. “Freedom of Religion as a Human Right: The Council of Europe’s Upcoming Vote on ‘Sect Observatories.’”
World Religion News, 19 March 2014.
- ___. “Coptic Monastic Inspirations for Lent,” interview with Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian. Watani International, 18
- ___. “Catholic-Mormon Relations.” The Religious Educator 13:1 (2012): 35-53.
- ___. “A Very Brief History of the Lausanne Movement.” Evangelical Interfaith Dialogue. 1(2) (2010):
- Review of Gawdat Gabra, ed. Coptic Civilization: Two Thousand Years of Christianity in Egypt. New York and
Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2014. In Watani International, June 2014.
- Review of Carolyn Ludwig and Morris Jackson, eds. The History and Religious Heritage of Old Cairo: Its
Fortress, Churches, Synagogue, and Mosque. New York and Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2013. In
Watani International, June 2013.
- Review of Mark A. Noll and James Turner, The Future of Christian Learning: An Evangelical and Catholic
Dialogue. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2008. In Evangelical Interfaith Dialogue, Spring 2010.
- “Copts, e-Diasporas, and Dynamics of Identity Formation Post-Arab Spring: Three European Case Studies,”
Conference of the Italian Society for Middle Eastern Studies (SESAMO), University of Catania, Sicily (March
- “The Art of PR War: Scientology, the Media, and Legitimation Strategies for the 21st Century,” Workshop on
New Religious Movements and Media, University of Montreal (March 2016)
- “Keeping Scientology Working: Systematic Theology, Orthodoxy, and Heresy in the Church of Scientology,”
British Association for the Study of Religion Annual Conference, University of Kent, Canterbury (September
- “Forces and Fields of Identity Preservation in the Coptic Diaspora,” with Dr. Saad Michael Saad,
Seventeenth St. Shenouda-UCLA Conference of Coptic Studies, University of California, Los Angeles (July
- “‘Out of Egypt I Have Called My Son’: Hybridized and Digitized Identities of Copts in the Diaspora,”
Defining and Identifying Middle Eastern Christian Communities in Europe (DIMECCE) Conference, University of St.
Andrews, Scotland (May 2015)
- “Christian Science and Scientology: Ecclesiologies Compared,” presented in absentia, The Evolution of
Christian Science in Scholarly Perspective, Observatory of Religion and Secularism, Antwerp, Belgium (April
- “Coptic Religious Identity and Borderless Territoriality in the Electronic Diaspora,” with Dr. Saad Michael
Saad, Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Diego, CA (November 2014)
- “A ‘People’s History’ of the Church of Scientology: Conclusions from Ethnographic Research in the United
States,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Diego, CA (November 2014)
- “Scientology, Resilience, and the Category of Religion: Conclusions from Research in the United States,”
British Sociological Association, Sociology of Religion Study Group, University of Sussex, UK (July 2014)
- “From American to World Religion: L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology’s Roots in the American West,”
International Conference of Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), Baylor University, Waco, TX (June
- “Invitation to Future Research on the Church of Scientology,” INFORM Anniversary Conference on Minority
Religions: Contemplating the Past and Anticipating the Future, London School of Economics (February 2014)
- “Invitation to Future Research on the Church of Scientology,” First International Conference on the Study
of Scientology, FVG (January 2014)
- International Society for the Study of New Religions
- American Academy of Religion
- American Historical Association
- Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
- St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society
- Institute for Signifying Scriptures
Full CV available upon request
[Revised 2 March 2016]