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Ken Chitwood

Department of Religion


Areas of Specialization: Latina/o Muslims, Islam in Latin America and the Caribbean, Christian-Muslim Relations, religion and the news.

Ken Chitwood is a religion scholar at the University of Florida studying Religion in the Americas and a graduate student fellow with the Center for Global Islamic Studies. His academic work focuses on Islam in the Americas, Puerto Rican Muslims, Latinx Muslims, hemispheric American religion (including North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean), translocal religion, intersections of religion and culture, Christian-Muslim relations, global Christianity, Muslim minorities and ethnographic methods and manifestations of religion-beyond-religion in a global and digital age. Additionally, he has published work on Judaism in Latin America and the Caribbean, religion and popular culture, and other relevant topics.

Ken is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Latin American Studies Association, the Caribbean Studies Association, Theta Alpha Kappa, and is an Associate Research Member of the Waikato Islamic Studies Group.

Ken has been reviewing books on Christianity, Islam, religion, anthropology, culture, and history for six years with Publisher’s Weekly, the Houston ChronicleReading Religion from the American Academy of Religion, and other scholarly and popular publications. In that time Ken has read and reviewed over 100 books and monographs.

Furthermore, he is an award-winning religion newswriter fascinated by the intersection of religion and culture. His bylines include work with Newsweek,, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Religion News Service, The Guardian, The Times of India, USA Today, Sojourners Magazine, The Daily Dot, Sightings from the University of Chicago, Deseret News National, Christian Century, The Houston Chronicle, US Catholic, RealClear Religion, Epicenter Magazine, The Living Church, The Gainesville Sun, The Lutheran (Australia), HUM Magazine, Indo-American News, LCEF Leader-to-Leader, The Olive Tree (New Zealand), The Lattice Journal and other publications. Explore some of his published work.

Chitwood is also a forward-thinking Lutheran theologian, pastor and popular speaker who accents ‘glocal’ 21st-century Christianity. As a “theologian without borders,” his interests include global theologies, multi-cultural ministry and the contextualization of doctrines and practices across religious boundaries, physical borders and cultural barriers. Weaving together historical context, societal exegesis and a fair dose of ironic humor, Ken speaks with power, love and sound mind.

Ken is based in Gainesville, Florida where he researches, writes, teaches, and enjoys ultra-distance running, well-placed sarcasm, craft beer, bike-commuting, traveling, hiking, camping and rugby.

*What is vocatio? Vocatio is Latin for “vocation” or “calling.” Ken feels called to the work of religious literacy. For him it is more than work, it is an effort with spiritual promptings and divine intimations.