Skip to Content

Marion Goldman

Marion Goldman profile picture
  • Title: Professor Emeritus
  • Additional Title: Sociology
  • Phone: 541-346-5002
  • Office: 722 PLC
  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • Affiliated Departments: Religious Studies
  • Curriculum Vitae


As an emeritus professor, I am professionally active at UO and also as the Scholar in Residence at the Portland Center for Public Humanities at PSU. Throughout my career, I have been interested in personal and social transformation, collective behavior, gender, and new religious movements (cults).

My forthcoming book, The Spiritual Virtuoso: Personal Faith and Social Transformation, will be part of the conversation that marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. My co-author Steven Pfaff and I explore spiritual virtuosity and the consequential religious movements that made lasting impact on individuals from Antislavery activists to Steve Jobs.

Steven Pfaff, who is a professor at the University of Washington, and I wrote The Spiritual Virtuoso because of our commitment to make our scholarship accessible to readers both within and outside universities.

Now that The Spiritual Virtuoso is about to be published, I am starting a project that deals with the ways that new religious movements (cults) helped change the way Americans eat. It will include recipes from a number of groups, including Oregon’s famous/infamous Rajneeshees.

If you have questions or want to set a time to talk, please email me at


Research Interests

  • Religion/Spirituality
  • Religious Violence
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Gender

Teaching Areas

  • Sociology of Religion
  • Cults and Social Movements
  • Qualitative Methods


The American Soul Rush (2012)

The Spiritual Virtuoso: Personal Faith and Social Transformation (2017)