Kevin O'Neill

kevinA cultural anthropologist and scholar of American religion, Kevin Lewis O’Neill is an Assistant Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion and the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies. He taught at Indiana University, Bloomington, before arriving at the University of Toronto in 2009. With over a decade of research in and on postwar Guatemala City, Professor O’Neill’s ethnographic work addresses the themes of responsibility and belonging by way of neo-Pentecostal Christianity. His first book, City of God: Christian Citizenship in Postwar Guatemala, details Neo-Pentecostalism’s entanglement with democratization at the level of citizenship. His current book project, The Soul of Security: Gangs and God across the Americas, tracks Christianity’s participation in an ever expanding security apparatus. With transnational criminal organizations on the rise, pastors intervene in the lives of active gang members for the sake of both security and salvation. How does this intervention recalibrate the moral contours of security itself?

Ph.D., Stanford University
A.M., Stanford University
M.T.S., Harvard University
B.A., Fordham University

Curriculum Vitae


City of God: Christian Citizenship in Postwar Guatemala (University of California Press 2010).

Securing the City: Neoliberalism, Space, and Insecurity in Postwar Guatemala (Duke University Press 2011), co-edited with Kedron Thomas.

Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation (Duke University Press 2009), co-edited with Alex Hinton.

“The Reckless Will,” Public Culture, 22(1)2010: 67-88.

“I Want More of You: The Politics of Christian Eroticism in Postwar Guatemala.” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 52(1)2010: 131-156.

“Delinquent Realities: Christianity, Formality, and Security in the Americas.” American Quarterly, 63(2)2011: 337-365.

“The Soul of Security: Corporatism, Christianity, and Control in Postwar Guatemala” Social Text, forthcoming.

“Pastor Harold Caballeros Believes in Demons: Belief and Believing in the Study of Religion.” History of Religions, forthcoming.


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