Dr. Kanagy came to Elizabethtown College in 1993. Since then he has taught a variety of courses ranging from Discovering Society for entry-level students to Sociological Theory for graduating seniors. His research focus is in the sociology of religion, an interest which has led him to publish articles and book chapters related to race and religion, the environment and religion, and more. He was co-author of an introductory-level textbook in sociology called the Riddles of Human Society. His dual interests in
rural communities and religion led to a series of annual studies that examined land ownership patterns among the Old Order Amish, and he was the first to systematically document the rapid growth in farmland ownership of the Amish in Lancaster County, PA. In 2006 he directed a study of Mennonites in the U.S. and published a book entitled Road Signs for the Journey: A Profile of Mennonite Church USA. In that book he cited the decline of “mainstream” Mennonites in the U.S., paralleling the challenges facing the Mennonite Church with those of mainline denominations in North America.
Most recently, Dr. Kanagy directed a study of Anabaptists in 10 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This project was one of the first of its kind among Christian denominations in the global south, and the findings of the Multi-Nation Anabaptist Profile have implications not only for Anabaptist churches but for other Christian groups. In general, Dr. Kanagy learned that the declines among Mennonites in North America are matched by even greater increases in the global south. Should these trends in both hemispheres continue, Anabaptism will be increasingly defined by its members in Asia, Africa, and Latin America–rather than in North America and Europe. His research among Anabaptists in the Global South has resulted in two forthcoming publications:
- Road Signs Revisited: A Comparison of Anabaptists in the “Global South” and the United States (Mennonite Quarterly Review, April, 2012).
- Winds of the Spirit: A Profile of Anabaptist Churches in the Global
South, co-authored with Richard Showalter and Tilahun Beyene (Herald Press, July, 2012).
Courses: Discovering Society, Sociology of Religion, Introduction to Rural Communities, Sociological Research Methods, Social Statistics, Race and Ethnic Relations, Ethnography of Africa, Sociological Theory.