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.

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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 first book analyzes American Muslim women’s religious authority, examining how they negotiate the Islamic tradition and build gender-equitable worship spaces.

  • 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.

  • R. Marie Griffith

    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.

  • 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.

  • Mark Oppenheimer

    Professor of Practice and Executive Editor, Religion & Politics

    I am interested in the history of American religion, in the practice of journalism and other forms of nonfiction writing, and in Anglophone fiction. My current projects include biographies of Judy Blume and Ann Landers and a documentary about the word “like.”

  • 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.

  • Mark Valeri

    Director and 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.