Author Archives: Tom Simpson

About Tom Simpson

Tom Simpson teaches religion, ethics, philosophy, and human rights at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. He is the author of *American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940* (University of North Carolina Press, 2016) and nonfiction essays about Bosnia for the Canadian literary magazine *Numero Cinq*. Born in 1975 in Olean, NY, he earned the Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Virginia, where he specialized in American religious history. He writes, teaches, and lectures about religion in America, popular culture, Mormonism, and Bosnia. He lives in Exeter with his partner, Alexis Simpson, and their two children.

The F-word: Fascism 101

In the past four years, observers of the United States have harbored intense fears that the Trump administration was essentially, or at least substantially, fascist. It’s a loaded and often misunderstood term, and now that we’re on the verge of … Continue reading

Posted in Bosnia, Ethics, Fascism, Gender, Human Rights, Peacebuilding, Politics, Race, Teaching, Violence | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The 2020 Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival: A Roundup

One of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s great charms, and great sources of pride, is its incredible pool of talented actors and filmmakers. I’ve written here before of my love of extraordinary films like Jasmila Žbanić’s “Grbavica,” Aida Begić’s “Snijeg” (“Snow”), Srđan Vuletić’s “Hop, … Continue reading

Posted in Bosnia, Fascism, Feminism, Film, Gender, grief, Human Rights, Islam, Peacebuilding, Politics, Religion and Spirituality, Teaching, trauma, Uncategorized, Violence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Long Live the King

It’s hard to put into words what Chadwick Boseman’s massive talent and radiant light have meant to me, my family, and my students. In 42, Boseman brought Jackie Robinson to life for today’s youth in one of the best baseball … Continue reading

Posted in Baseball, Film, grief, Humor, Media, Popular Culture, Race, racial justice, SNL, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fascism’s Myth and Lure

Yesterday was the anniversary of the vicious shelling & destruction of Sarajevo’s National Library, in 1992. This is fascism’s clear, enduring threat & promise: to destroy everyone & everything that exposes its lies. Fascism survives because it tells a seductive … Continue reading

Posted in Bosnia, Ethics, Fascism, Human Rights, Peacebuilding, Violence | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kenosha Burning

I hadn’t planned to write again so soon, but news that a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer had shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back started making its way into my Twitter feed last night. Horrific, all-too-familiar details emerged this … Continue reading

Posted in Autobiography / Memoir, Ethics, Race, racial justice, Raising Boys, Violence | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Masculinity’s Evolutions

I was planning to write sooner. After my second round of chemotherapy ended last Sunday, I thought — based on my experience with the first round — that it would be just a few days before I’d feel like myself … Continue reading

Posted in Baseball, Bosnia, cancer, Gender, Health, Peacebuilding, Popular Culture, Sports, Teaching, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Conversation with Mirela Kulović about Human Rights, Teaching, and Writing

Yesterday, as part of her wonderful new “thought-provoking conversations” series on YouTube, the brilliant Bosnian-American painter Mirela Kulović interviewed me about so much of what I love: teaching and writing about religious identity, human rights, conflict, and coexistence; mentoring and … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Autobiography / Memoir, Bosnia, Ethics, Human Rights, Teaching, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Video Love

Instead of a conventional post, I made a short little video message today, with so much love and gratitude for all your support as I undergo treatment for cancer. (This is also to keep my video production game in shape … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, Health | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Beirut in Ruins and Rage

Still reeling from the news, images, and stories from Beirut, I’ve been watching the films of Lebanese filmmaker and actor Nadine Labaki. Her latest is “Capernaum” (2018), winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes. I’ve taught and written about … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Feminism, Film, Human Rights, Humor, Peacebuilding, Religion and Politics, Religion and Spirituality, Social Justice, trauma | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Last year at this time, I was teaching at the Global Citizens Youth Summit in Tokyo about the idea of “memory as a moral compass,” with special reference to case studies from the history of Japan. Featured prominently in my … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ethics, Human Rights, Peacebuilding, Politics, Religion and Spirituality, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments