Brekus

Catherine Brekus

Charles Warren Professor of the History of Religion in America

617.496.7480

Education

BA, Harvard University
PhD, Yale University

Profile

Catherine Brekus is Charles Warren Professor of the History of Religion in America at Harvard Divinity School. She graduated from Harvard University with a BA in the history and literature of England and America, and she holds a PhD in American Studies from Yale University. Before coming to Harvard she taught at the University of Chicago Divinity School, where she was Professor of the History of Christianity and Religions in America. She was also an Associate Member of the University of Chicago’s Department of History and an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.

Her research focuses on the relationship between religion and American culture, with particular emphasis on the history of women, gender, Christianity, and the evangelical movement. Her current interests include the religious history of American exceptionalism and the relationship of Christianity, capitalism, and consumerism in the United States.

She is the author of many articles and books, including Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740-1845, which explores the rise of female preaching during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and Sarah Osborn’s World: The Rise of Evangelicalism in Early America, which argues that the evangelical movement emerged in dialogue with the Enlightenment. Brekus is also the editor of The Religious History of American Women: Reimagining the Past, a collection of essays that asks how women’s history changes our understanding of American religion, and the co-editor (with W. Clark Gilpin) of American Christianities: A History of Dominance and Diversity, an introduction to the multiple forms of Christian expression in the United States.

Brekus has received several awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a Henry Luce III Faculty Fellowship in Theology, and a Pew Faculty Fellowship in Religion and American History. She won the Brewer Prize from the American Society of Church History for Strangers and Pilgrims, and the Aldersgate Prize from Indiana Wesleyan University for Sarah Osborn’s World. She is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

Assistant

Kristin Gunst

Selected Publications

  • brekus-sarah-osborn

    Sarah Osborn’s World: The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Early America (Yale University Press, 2013), by Catherine Brekus

  • brekus-american-christianities

    American Christianities: A History of Dominance and Diversity (co-edited with W. Clark Gilpin), (UNC Press, 2011), by Catherine Brekus

  • brekus-religious-history

    The Religious History of American Women: Reimagining the Past (UNC Press, 2007), by Catherine Brekus

  • brekus_strangers

    Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740-1845 (UNC Press, 1998), by Catherine Brekus