Jeffrey Mahan's headshot

Jeffrey H. Mahan

Professor Emeritus

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. Northwestern University, Religious and Theological Studies
  • M.Div. Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • B.A. The Evergreen State College


Jeffrey H. Mahan studies the mediation of religion in material and digital cultures, religion as a sensual and bodily experience, and the implications of media change for the practice of ministry and religious leadership. He is interested in aesthetic and theological engagements with both fine and popular film, literature and television. This has led to appointments to ecumenical juries at the Montreal, Cannes’ and Berlin film festivals. He is also interested in the history of media and mediation and their implications for the religious communities and practices, with particular attention to the emergence of digital culture and the forms of religion in digital culture. In both the face-to-face class room and online he is an engaged teacher who draws texts, film and image, into conversation with students own experience. Students are often drawn out of his classroom into religious and public spaces.

His publications include Religion and Popular Culture in America, Revised and Expanded Third Edition (2017), Media, Religion and Culture: An Introduction (2014), Shared Wisdom (1993), A Long Way from Solving that One (1990), and American Television Genres (1985) as well as essays, book chapters and encyclopedia entries.

Mahan was founding co-chair of the Religion and Popular Culture Group of the American Academy of Religion. He is also a member of the International Society for Media, Religion, and Culture. He is a Resident Fellow at the Center for Media, Religion and Culture, University of Colorado at Boulder and serves on the Editorial Board, for the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. He is often a source for journalists covering popular culture and religion in the current media age. His past service to Iliff includes a term as Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty, and many years as director of Professional Formation.

A clergy member of the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church, where he is a past member of the Board of Ordained Ministry, Mahan served churches in Chicago and on the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary before joining the Iliff faculty in 1995.

Representative courses:

Media, Religion and Culture
Religion in Text, Image, and Artifact: Material Religion (Ph.D. colloquium)
Religious Leadership in Digital Culture
Religion and Popular Culture
Religion and Film

News & Awards

Colorado Public Radio – April 20, 2017 Jeffrey Mahan and the Cannabis Church – Living in an Era of Religious Experimentation

303 Magazine – January 09, 2017 Jeffrey Mahan – Buddhism in Film

Inside the First Ever DFS “Buddhism in Film” Series