Dr. Catherine Brekus

Catherine Brekus is Charles Warren Professor of the History of Religion in America at Harvard Divinity School and in the Department of American Studies. She graduated from Harvard University with a BA in the history and literature of England and America, and she holds a PhD in American Studies from Yale University. Before coming to Harvard she taught at the University of Chicago Divinity School, where she was Professor of the History of Christianity and Religions in America.

Her research focuses on the relationship between religion and American culture, with particular emphasis on the history of women, gender, Christianity, and the evangelical movement. Her current interests include the religious history of American exceptionalism and the relationship of Christianity, capitalism, and consumerism in the United States.

Brekus is currently completing a new book titled Chosen Nation: Christianity, Politics, and American Destiny. She is the author of Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740-1845, which explores the rise of female preaching during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and Sarah Osborn’s World: The Rise of Evangelicalism in Early America, which argues that the evangelical movement emerged in dialogue with the Enlightenment. Strangers and Pilgrims won the Brewer Prize from the American Society of Church History, and Sarah Osborn’s World won the Aldersgate Prize from Indiana Wesleyan University and the Albert C. Outler Prize from the American Society of Church History. Brekus is also the editor of The Religious History of American Women: Reimagining the Past, a collection of essays that asks how women’s history changes our understanding of American religion.

In 2014–15 she was named the Harvard Divinity School Outstanding Teacher of the Year.