Department of Religion
Eaton Hall, Room 316A
Medford, MA 02155
Th.D. Harvard University
M.A. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
B.A. University of Virginia
- Global Christianity
- American Religious History
- Religion, Humanitarianism and Philanthropy
- Religion, Health and Healing
- Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic
- Religion and Reform Movements
- Gender and Women's Studies in Religion
Heather D. Curtis received her doctorate in the
History of Christianity and American
Religion from Harvard University in 2005. She is the author of
Faith in the Great Physician: Suffering and Divine Healing in
American Culture, 1860-1900 (Johns Hopkins University Press,
2007) which was awarded the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer prize
from the American Society of Church History for the best first book
in the History of Christianity.
Her recent book, Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid
(Harvard University Press, 2018) examines the crucial role popular religious
media played in the extension of US aid at home and abroad from the late-nineteenth
to the early twentieth century. Drawing on rigorous archival research, Curtis lays
bare the theological motivations, social forces, cultural assumptions, business calculations,
and political dynamics that shaped Americans' ambivalent embrace of evangelical philanthropy
during a pivotal period in the nation's history. In the process she uncovers the seeds of
today's heated debates over the politics of poverty relief and international aid.
Curtis has also published articles on the global expansion of American evangelicalism,
pentecostalism, religion and science, and Christian spirituality in a variety of academic
journals, books, and online venues. She recently served as a senior editor for the Oxford
Encyclopedia of Religion in America.
Her work has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Center for the Study of World
Religions at Harvard University, the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation,
the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving,
the Lilly Endowment, the Louisville Institute, and the Young Scholars in American Religion Program.
- Religion and American Politics
- Religion, Race, and Nation in American History
- Religion and American Foreign Affairs
- History of Religion in America
- Global History of Christianity
- Introduction to Christianity
- Women and Religion in America
- Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018).
- Faith in the Great Physician: Suffering and Divine Healing in
American Culture, 1860-1900 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University
Press, 2007). Winner of the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize from the
American Society of Church History for the best first book in
the History of Christianity, 2007.
- "Popular Media and the Global Expansion of American Evangelicalism in an Imperial Age,"
Journal of American Studies 51 (2017): 1043-1067.
- "Depicting Distant Suffering:
Evangelicals and the Politics of Pictorial Humanitarianism in the Age of
American Empire," Material Religion: the Journal of Objects, Art and Belief
8:2 (June 2012): 154-183.
- "'God is Not Affected by the
Depression': Pentecostal Missions during the 1930s," Church History: Studies
in Christianity and Culture (September 2011): 579-589.
- "A Sane Gospel: Radical
Evangelicals, Psychology, and Pentecostal Revivals in the early 20th
Century," Religion and American Culture:
A Journal of Interpretation 21:2 (Summer 2011): 195-226.
- "Houses of Healing: Sacred
Space, Spiritual Practice and the Transformation of Female Suffering in the
Faith Cure Movement,
1870-1890," Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture
(September 2006): 598-611.
- "Visions of Self, Success and
Society among Young Men in Antebellum Boston," Church History: Studies in
Christianity and Culture (September 2004): 613-634.
Selected Essays in Peer Reviewed Books:
- "'There Are No Secular Events': Popular Media & the Diverging Paths of British &
American Evangelicalism," in Secularization and Religious Innovation in the North Atlantic World ed.
David Hempton and Hugh McLeod (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017), 80-99.
- "Picturing Pain: Evangelicals and the Politics of Pictorial Humanitarianism
in an Imperial Age," in Humanitarian Photography: A History, ed. Heide Fehrenbach
and Davide Rodogno (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 22-46.
- "Theologies of Evolution and Cooperation in Late-Nineteenth-Century
America," in Evolution, Games and God: The Principle of Cooperation,
eds. Sarah Coakley and Martin Nowak (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013).
- "The Global Character of Nineteenth-Century Divine Healing," in
Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing, ed.
Candy Gunther-Brown with a forward by Harvey Cox (New York:
Oxford University Press, 2011), 29-46.
- "'Acting Faith': Practices of Religious Healing in
Late-Nineteenth-Century Protestantism," in Practicing
Protestants: Histories of the Christian Life in America,
ed. Laurie Maffly-Kipp, Leigh Schmidt, and Mark Valeri
(Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), 137-158.
- Emerging Scholar and Research Grant Recipient, Lake Institute on Faith and Giving, 2015-2016.
- Sabbatical Grant for Researchers, Louisville Institute, 2013-2014.
- Seminar on Religion and U.S. Empire Program Participant, 2013-2015.
- Young Scholar in American Religion, Center for the Study of Religion & American Culture, 2009-2011.
- Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize from the American Society of Church History, 2008.
- Saving the World? The Changing Terrain of American Protestant Missions Research Grant, Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, 2009-2010.
- Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship, 2003-2004.
- Center for the Study of World Religions Dissertation Fellowship, Harvard University, 2003-2004.