Joseph Howard

Joseph completed his BA in History with a minor in English Literature at Seattle Pacific University in 2007. In 2010, he was awarded an MA in History from the University at Buffalo, where he wrote an MA project entitled “Half-Brothers in Christ: Catholicism and Native Clergy in China.” Continuing the study of Christianity in Asia, he then completed an MA thesis at Simon Fraser University in 2014, “Half-Brothers in Christ: The Church Missionary Society and the Christians of Kerala, 1813-1840,” which examined the CMS mission to the St. Thomas Christians in Kottayam, south India.

In 2016, Joseph joined the doctoral program in History at McGill, studying in the Indian Ocean World Centre under the supervision of Gwyn Campbell. His PhD dissertation will build on his MA research, investigating interactions between conversionist British Protestant Christianity and established Oriental Orthodox churches in the Indian Ocean region, especially the Malankara Church in southern India, the Syriac Orthodox Church, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. His research interests include the history of Christianity, religion & empire, and comparative imperialism.

Outside of academia, Joseph spends as much time as he can with his daughter and son.


2013 “Agents of Change or Victims of Empire? Native Converts to Christianity.” The Middle Ground Journal: World History and Global Studies 6

2010 “Christianity and Islam: Conversion in India.” Religion Compass 4/8: 486–494


2013 “Contest for Supremacy in South India: The Syriac Orthodox Church, the Jacobite Syrian Church, and the Church Missionary Society.” Presented at the Annual Graduate Conference on Indian Ocean World Studies, McGill University, 15 November 2013.

2012 “Education or Christianity: Theory and Practice in the Evangelization of India.” Presented at the Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 12-14 October 2012.

2012 “Muslim Indians or Indian Muslims: The Problem of Identity in Nizari Ismailism.” Presented at the Annual Conference of the Middle East and Islamic Consortium of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, 24 March 2012.

2010 “Orthodox Heteropraxy: Deng Xiaoping and the Cult of Mao.” Presented at the Annual Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, California State University, Northridge, 22-23 October 2010.

2010 “Religious Terminology in the Words of Deng Xiaoping: A Close Reading.” Presented at China Undisciplined, University of California, Los Angeles, 14-15 May 2010.