Sarah Barringer Gordon

Danforth Visiting Scholar

Sarah Barringer (Sally) Gordon is a Danforth Visiting Scholar in residence at the Center through the fall 2015 semester. Gordon is the Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and Professor of History at University of Pennsylvania. She works on the legal history of religion in American public life and the law of church and state, focusing primarily on the ways that religious liberty developed over the course of American national history. Her first book, The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America (University of North Carolina, 2002), won the Mormon History Association’s and the Utah Historical Society’s best book awards in 2003. Her second book, The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America (Harvard, 2010), explores the world of church and state in the 20th century. She is currently working on a third book, titled Freedom’s Holy Light: Disestablishment in America, 1776-1876, about the historical relationship between religion, politics, and law.

In 2015-16, Gordon is a Guggenheim Fellow, and holds fellowships this year from ICJS at Monticello, and the Huntington Library. In 2012, she was appointed a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She earned her Ph.D. in history from Princeton University and her J.D. from Yale University.