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Baylor > Religion > Faculty  > Joe L. Coker

Joe L. Coker

Joe Coker

Contact Information:
Department of Religion
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97284
Waco, TX 76798-7284

Office: Tidwell 302

Phone: (254) 710-4665
FAX: (254) 710-3740




  • Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary
  • M.Div., Emory University
  • B.A., Carson-Newman College

Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee I was raised in a Baptist church and attended a Baptist college. As a college student, I realized that I was fascinated by the study of religion and that I wanted to spend my life teaching religion on the college level. I received my Master of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, then obtained my Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. I came to Baylor in 2008 as a Lecturer in the Religion Department. Prior to that I taught at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. My wife, Amy, is a nurse, and our boys Layton and Connor are both in the 4th grade.

Academic Interests and Research:

My primary field of study is American religious history. I am particularly interested in religion in the American south, and the interplay between religion and the larger southern culture. Much of my research has centered on the temperance and prohibition movements, examining how southern evangelicals successfully engineered the enactment of prohibition laws in the years between the Civil War and the First World War. I have also done research in Baptist history, both in America and England, and am currently editing the complete works of John Murton for the series Early English Baptist Texts, being published by Mercer University Press.

Professional Awards and Activities:

�From �Brothers in Black� to �Black Beasts�: Prohibition and the Decline of Racial Attitudes Among Southern White Evangelicals, 1880-1915,� presented at the Southeastern regional meeting of the American Academy of Religion, March 2005.

Selected Research Articles:

�Social Conscience and Political Power Among Nineteenth-Century English Baptists,� The Pacific Journal of Baptist Research 1 (2006).

��Cast Out From Among the Saints�: Church Discipline Among Anabaptists and English Separatists in Holland, 1590-1620,� Reformation 11 (2006): 1-27.

�Developing a Theory of Missions in Serampore: The Increased Emphasis Upon Education as a �Means for the Conversion of the Heathens,�� Mission Studies 17 (2001): 42-60.

�The Sinnott Case of 1910: The Changing Views of Southern Presbyterians on Temperance, Prohibition, and the Spirituality of the Church,� The Journal of Presbyterian History 77 (winter 1999): 247-262.

�A Bibliography of American Temperance Hymnals, 1835�1934,� The Hymn 51 (April 2000): 28-36.

�Peace and the Apocalypse: Stanley Hauerwas and Miroslav Volf on the Eschatological Basis for Christian Nonviolence,� Evangelical Quarterly 71 (July 1999): 261-268.

�Exploring the Roots of the Dispensationalist/Princetonian �Alliance�: Charles Hodge and John Nelson Darby on Eschatology and Interpretation of Scripture,� Fides et Historia 30 (winter/spring 1998): 41-56.

�Sweet Harmony vs. Strict Separation: Recognizing the Distinctions Between Isaac Backus and John Leland,� American Baptist Quarterly 16 (September 1997): 241-250.


Liquor in the Land of the Lost Cause: Southern White Evangelicals and the Prohibition Movement, 1880-1915 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2007).

Courses Taught at Baylor:

  • REL 1310 The Christian Scriptures
  • REL 1350 The Christian Heritage
  • REL 3344 New Religious Movements


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