- Director and John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities
- Umrath Hall 118
- (314) 935-9345
R. Marie Griffith, the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, is currently the director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics.
Professor Griffith obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia in Political and Social Thought in 1989. She received both her M.A. and Ph.D. in the study of religion from Harvard University. Upon earning her doctorate in 1995, she was awarded consecutive fellowships at both Princeton University and Northwestern University. In 1999 she joined the faculty at Princeton where she filled several roles. From 1999–2003 she was associate director of Princeton’s Center for the Study of Religion. In 2003 she became Associate Professor of Religion and was promoted to Professor in 2005. She was later named the Director for the Program in the Study of Women and Gender. While at Princeton, Griffith was awarded the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, along with the Cotsen Fellowship for Distinguished Teaching, in 2008. She returned to her alma mater, Harvard University, in 2009 as the John A. Bartlett Professor in the Divinity School, serving as well on the faculty committee for the History of American Civilization program in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In 2015 she was appointed a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.
Her first major publication was God’s Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission (1997), which examines the practices and perceptions of contemporary evangelical women. Her next book Born Again Bodies: Flesh and Spirit in American Christianity (2004), explores the history of Christian-influenced attitudes and practices related to embodiment in modern America, culminating in the evangelical diet and fitness movement. These books, along with her three edited volumes—Women and Religion in the African Diaspora: Knowledge, Power, and Performance (co-edited with Barbara Dianne Savage, 2006), Religion and Politics in the Contemporary United States (co-edited with Melani McAlister, 2008), and American Religions: A Documentary History (2007)—exhibit Griffith’s varied and thoughtful scholarship. Her next book is scheduled for fall 2017 and is an analysis of sexuality debates in twentieth-century American Christianity titled Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics (Basic Books). In addition to her books Professor Griffith has published over thirty-one articles and book chapters and written more than twenty reviews.