Benjamin E. Zeller


Benjamin E. Zeller is a researcher and teacher of religion in America. He focuses on religious currents that are new or alternative, including new religions, the religious engagement with science, and the quasi-religious relationship people have with food. He is Assistant Professor of Religion at Lake Forest College, a private liberal arts college in the Chicago suburbs. He previously served as Director of the College Honors Program, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, and Coordinator of the Religion and Philosophy Major at Brevard College, and visiting Fulbright Fellow at Åbo Akademi (Turku, Finland).


Ph.D. University of North Carolina

M.T.S., Harvard University

B.A., University of Rochester


Heaven’s Gate: America’s UFO Religion (New York University Press, 2014).

Religion, Food, and Eating in North America, edited with Marie W. Dallam, Reid L. Neilson, and Nora L. Rubel (Columbia University Press, 2014).

The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements, edited with George D. Chryssides (London: Bloomsbury, 2014).

Prophets and Protons: New Religious Movements and Science in Late Twentieth-Century America (New York University Press, 2010).

Lecturing Fields

American Religions

New Religious Movements

Religion and Food

Religion and Science

Religion and Science Fiction

Current Research Interests

New Religious Movements

Religion and Food

Science and Religion

Contact Information

Buchanan Hall, Dept. of Religion

555 North Sheridan Road

Lake Forest, IL 60045