Clayton Fordahl is currently an Assistant Professor in Sociology. He received his PhD from Stony Brook University in 2017. He is interested in the religious dimensions of politics, the political dimensions of religion, and the cultural dimensions of social change.
Clayton's dissertation was a historical sociology of martyrdom in Western Europe. His dissertation covered cases ranging from the early Christian martyrs in the first centuries of the Common Era to contemporary martyrs associated with the Global War on Terror. At a fundamental level, the dissertation argues that martyrdom is not defined by individual motives of self-sacrifice, but by commemorative communities. The dissertation uses historical comparison to assess how variations in relationship between religion and politics have shaped the collective commemoration of ultimate sacrifice. Clayton is currently transforming his dissertation into a book manuscript.
His work has been published in the European Journal of Social Theory, the American Sociologist, and the Journal of Historical Sociology. His teaching interests include sociological theory, religion, politics, and social change.