Our Community

The John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics draws on the vast experience and resources of many people to fulfill its mission: to deepen academic and public understanding of religion and politics in the United States.

line drawing of three people speaking and superimposed on each other

Faculty

Our faculty produce some of the foremost research and scholarship in various fields covering religion and U.S. politics. They offer a wealth of experience and guidance to the Washington University community, as well as the St. Louis region and beyond.

  • Tazeen M. Ali

    Assistant Professor of Religion and Politics

    My research focuses on Islam, gender, and race in America. My book-in-progress analyzes American Muslim women’s religious authority, examining how they negotiate the Islamic tradition and build gender-equitable worship spaces.

    Biography
  • Fannie Bialek

    Assistant Professor of Religion and Politics

    I work on contemporary religious ethics and political theory with an emphasis on feminist thought, Christian theology, and modern forms of power critique. My first book is about uncertainty in loving relationships and its lessons for contemporary ethics and politics.

    Biography
  • R. Marie Griffith

    Director and John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities

    Most of my scholarship centers on American Christianity, including the changing profile of American evangelicals and ongoing conflicts over gender, sexuality, and marriage.

    Biography
  • John D. Inazu

    Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law & Religion and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy)

    As a scholar of law and religion, my primary interests are the First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion, and related questions of legal and political theory.

    Biography
  • Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp

    Archer Alexander Distinguished Professor

    My research and teaching focus on African American religions, Mormonism, religion on the Pacific borderlands of the Americas, and issues of intercultural contact.

    Biography
  • Lerone A. Martin

    Associate Professor of Religion and Politics

    I am a historian of religion in the twentieth century U.S., with a particular interest in the intersection of religion and politics. I am especially interested in the relationship between various forms of American religious media and notions of race, socio-economics, gender, citizenship, and nationhood. 

    Biography
  • Leigh Eric Schmidt

    Edward C. Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor

    I am a historian of American religion and culture; my topics of research have ranged widely: evangelical revivalism, ritual studies, consumer culture, religious liberalism, atheism, and secularism.

    Biography
  • Mark Valeri

    Reverend Priscilla Wood Neaves Distinguished Professor of Religion and Politics

    My current research concerns how Anglo-American Protestants described other religions and developed new ideas of religious conversion from 1660 to 1760.

    Biography