Religious Experience Residential Fellow
Michelle Panchuk received her PhD from University of South Carolina in 2016. Her primary research interests are in Metaphysics and Philosophy of Religion, especially the relationship between abstract universals and the God of classical theism. In her dissertation she defended a version of Theistic Conceptual Realism according to which abstract universals are identical to divine concepts and argued that this view is compatible with the traditional doctrine of divine simplicity. Her article "Created and Uncreated Things: A Neo-Augustinian Solution to the Bootstrapping Problem" is published in International Philosophical Quarterly, and another, reconciling Theistic Conceptual Realism and divine simplicity, is currently in progress.
While at the Center, Michelle will work on a book-length project on religious trauma, including an article-length project on religious trauma as a form of religious experience. In particular Michelle is interested in the ethical and epistemic implications of experiencing religion, and even the Divine Being itself, in negatively valenced ways that are both traumatic and personally transformative.