Björn Krondorfer has a wide-ranging interest in applying religious studies to various segments in culture, society, and politics. Initially pursuing a theology degree in Germany, he switched to comparative religious studies at Temple University in Philadelphia (PhD 1990). His extensive scholarship on the intersection of masculinity and religion helped to define the field of Critical Men’s Studies in Religions. He explored ethical conundrums and aesthetic practices related to violent histories and traumatic memories while ascertaining possibilities of reconciliation. Since 2002, he is Endowed Professor of Religious Studies and the Director of the Martin-Springer Institute at Northern Arizona University (the Institute, founded by a Holocaust survivor, has a public educational mandate).
His commitment to the arts and aesthetics led him to collaborate with visual artists and to create and curate exhibits, among them Through the Eyes of Youth: Life and Death in the Bedzin Ghetto; Resilience: Women in Flagstaff’s Past and Present; Wounded Landscapes; and Echoes of Loss: Artistic Responses to Trauma. In 2019, he was awarded a residential fellowship at the Santa Fe Art Institute.
He has presented his research and facilitated intercultural seminars in 18 different countries. He was guest professor at the Institute of Theology/History of Religion at the Freie University Berlin, held the status of visiting Faculty Affiliate at the University of the Free State, South Africa, and received a Senior Research Fellowship at the Vrije University in Amsterdam. In 2020, he was elected chair of the “Consortium of Higher Education Centers for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies.”
Among his publications are Unsettling Empathy: Working with Groups in Conflict (2020); The Holocaust and Masculinities (2020); Reconciliation in Global Context (2018); Male Confessions: Intimate Revelations and the Religious Imagination (2010); Men and Masculinities in Christianity and Judaism (2009); Men’s Bodies, Men’s Gods (1996); and Remembrance and Reconciliation (1995).