David Hempton

Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies, and John Lord O'Brian Professor of Divinity


David Hempton was appointed Dean of Harvard Divinity School in July 2012. Before joining the Faculty of Divinity in spring 2007, he was University Professor and Professor of the History of Christianity at Boston University, and prior to that appointment, he was Professor of Modern History and director of the School of History in Queen’s University Belfast. He is a social historian of religion with particular expertise in populist traditions of evangelicalism in Europe, North America, and beyond. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In recent years he has delivered the F. D. Maurice Lectures at King’s College London, held a fellowship of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was HDS’s outstanding teacher of the year in 2008. He is the author of many articles and books, including Methodism and Politics in British Society, 1750-1850 (Stanford, 1984), winner of the Whitfield prize of the Royal Historical Society; Evangelical Protestantism in Ulster Society, 1740-1890 (Routledge, 1992); Religion and Political Culture in Britain and Ireland (Cambridge, 1996); The Religion of the People (Routledge, 1996); “Faith and Enlightenment,” in the New Oxford History of the British Isles (Oxford, 2002); Methodism: Empire of the Spirit (Yale, 2005), winner of the Jesse Lee prize; Evangelical Disenchantment (Yale, 2008); and The Church in the Long Eighteenth Century (Tauris, 2011), winner of the American Society of Church History Outler Prize, 2012. He has research and teaching interests in religion and political culture, identity and ethnic conflict, the interdisciplinary study of lived religion, comparative secularization in Europe and North America, the history and theology of Evangelical Protestantism, and the rise of global Christianity in the early modern period.

Dissertation Committees

“Christian Slavery: Protestant Missions and Slave Conversion in the Atlantic World, 1660-1760” (Katharine Gerbner)

“‘These Teenagers are Not Delinquent’: The Rhetoric of Maturity for Evangelical Young Adults, 1945-1965″ (Eliza Barstow)

Selected Publications

  • Hempton_EvangelicalDisenchantment

    Evangelical Disenchantment (Yale University Press, 2008), by David Hempton

  • Hempton-Methodism

    Methodism and Politics in British Society, 1750-1850 (Stanford University Press, 1984), by David Hempton