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Machacek, David W. 1967–

Machacek, David W. 1967–

(David Wayne Machacek)

PERSONAL: Born October 15, 1967, in MD; son of Anton D. (in U.S. Navy) and Joan (a cafeteria manager; maiden name, Koehler) Machacek; companion of Jeffrey Brian Dutcher (an entrepreneur). Ethnicity: "White." Education: Texas Lutheran College, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1990; University of California, Santa Barbara, M.A., 1993, Ph.D., 1998.

ADDRESSES: Home—4 Hillcrest Dr., Avon, CT 06001. Office—Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, Trinity College, 300 Summit St., Hartford, CT 06106. E-mail[email protected]; [email protected]

CAREER: Writer. University of California, Riverside, visiting lecturer in religious studies, 1996; University of California, Santa Barbara, lecturer in religious studies and writing, 1998–2003, director of religious pluralism in Southern California project, 2000–03; Trinity College, Hartford, CT, resident fellow at Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life and visiting assistant professor of public policy, 2003–. Guest lecturer at other institutions, including Soka University and Texas Lutheran College; conference presenter; guest on media programs.

MEMBER: Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Association for the Sociology of Religion, American Academy of Religion.


(With Phillip E. Hammond) Soka Gakkai in America: Accommodation of Conversion, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1999.

(Editor, with Bryan Wilson; and contributor) Global Citizens: The Soka Gakkai Buddhist Movement in the World, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2000.

(Editor, with Melissa Wilcox, and contributor) Sexuality in the World's Religions, American Bibliographical Center-CLIO Press (Santa Barbara, CA), 2003.

(With Phillip E. Hammond and Eric Michael Mazur) Religion on Trial: How Supreme Court Trends Threaten the Freedom of Conscience in America, AltaMira Press (Walnut Creek, CA), 2004.

Contributor to books, including Faith in the Future: Change in European Religion, edited by U. Nembac, Peter Lang (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 1998; American Buddhism: Methods and Findings in Recent Scholarhip, edited by D. Williams and C. Queen, Curzon Press (Richmond, Surrey, England), 2000; The Dynamics of Religious Organizations: The Extravasation of the Sacred, and Other Essays, edited by Phillip E. Hammond, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2000; and Religion and Public Life in the Pacific Region: Fluid Identities, edited by W.C. Roof, Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, Trinity College (Hartford, CT), 2004. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Journal of Oriental Studies, Sociology of Religion, and Journal of Church and State. Associate editor, Religion in the News, 2003–; member of board of editorial consultants, Nova Religio, 2003–.

Some of Machacek's writings have been translated into Japanese and French.

SIDELIGHTS: David W. Machacek told CA: "I never understood professors who complained about a 'conflict' between their teaching and writing responsibilities. I was taught that research and writing are part of my teaching responsibilities; the only differences are the audience and format. Academic publishing is the classroom in which I teach my colleagues and peers and engage them in conversation and debate over issues of mutual interest.

"To me, writing is not so much a job as a habit. I suspect that is the case with many writers. I never know when or where inspiration will come, but when it does, some inner voice compels me to stop what I'm doing and grab pen and paper. Rarely do any of those hastily scratched notes make it to print, of course. But getting ideas on paper is part of the learning process. An idea is worthless if it can't be articulated clearly.

"The subjects on which I write typically come to me; I haven't chosen them in any meaningful sense. A book I'm reading, a conversation with colleagues or students, a casual encounter, or some such event will stimulate a question in my mind, and I pursue it until my curiosity is satisfied. In fact, I would say that the hardest part of academic writing is articulating the question. Once the question is clear, the kind of evidence needed to answer it is also clarified.

"I have had the good fortune of working with some of the brightest and best in the field of religious studies. Perhaps more important is the fact that subject matter is intrinsically interesting and the field tends to attract interesting characters. Interesting material and interesting colleagues make for a very stimulating and rewarding work environment. That makes all the difference in the world."



History of Religions, August, 2001, Franz Aubrey Metcalf, review of Soka Gakkai in America: Accommodation of Conversion, p. 94.

Perspectives on Political Science, summer, 2004, Robert W. Langran, review of Religion on Trial: How Supreme Court Trends Threaten Freedom of Conscience in America, p. 171.

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