Allen Benjamin Johnson
Allen Benjamin Johnson works for the United States Congress on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide and policy adviser. He was fortunate enough to receive both a Bachelor's (2005) and a Master's (2008) in Religious Studies from the University of Tennessee.
His emphasis of study in graduate school was in Islam with a particular focus on conflict and violence. While at UT, Allen also had a distinct fondness for anthropology of religion, Mahayana Buddhism, and new religious movements.
As a legislative aide, Allen manages a portfolio of policy issues including the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, Intelligence, and Telecommunications. He frequently leads engagement with stakeholders in the government, foreign governments, NGOs, non-profits, and the private sector.
Allen has found his education in comparative religion to be invaluable for preparing him to work on national security issues in the Congress. The tensions, conflicts, and changes that have occurred internationally due to religious actors have destablilized long-established and seemingly stable relationships. Majoring in comparative religion has allowed Allen to better navigate these developments and many others in the political, military and religious spheres.
Allen has stayed engaged with the UT Religious Studies department through its Facebook page and as a donor to the Siddiqi Lecture Series. You can find out more about him by visiting his blog: www.NotTheology.com.