Sacred Wonderland


Thomas S. Bremer, Ph.D.

I study American religious history with special interest in religion and tourism, most recently regarding American national parks. I teach courses on Religion in America; American sacred space; Religion, Nature, and the Environment; and other topics at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. You can find a list of my publications on the Publications page. Information about my current work on religion in Yellowstone National Park is on the Sacred Wonderland page, and recent posts are on the Postings page.

The Personal Story

I sometimes reveal to students that I had seventeen gap years between high school and college. I started studying at The Ohio State University in 1992 at age 35, completed my degree there in Religious Studies and went directly on to an M.A. and then Ph.D. in Religion at Princeton University, where I finished in 2001.

Princeton shield

Many years before college there was a short-lived landscaping business in Orange County, California, where I had spent my childhood. My passage into full adulthood involved a long summer working in Yellowstone National Park where Melanie and I found each other. Our life together blossomed during our time at Rancho D’Eleanora, an avocado ranch we managed in northern San Diego County, California.

Avocados on the tree

We moved to Ohio in 1981, where we ran an insurance agency in smalltown America, then eventually I transitioned to an insurance and estate planning practice while Melanie began college. A combination of midlife boredom, intellectual curiosity, and a twinge of envy convinced me to follow her. Once classes began, I never looked back.

You can get in touch with me using the Contact form.