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Heather Curtis
Associate Professor
Heather Curtis
Contact Info:
Tufts University
Department of Religion
Eaton Hall, Room 316A
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.2237
Fax: 617.627.6615
Email Professor
Download CV (pdf)

Education:
Th.D. Harvard University
M.A. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
B.A. University of Virginia

Research Interests:

  • Global Christianity
  • American Religious History
  • Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity
  • Religion, Health and Healing
  • Religion and Reform Movements
  • Gender and Women's Studies in Religion

Background:
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 work has also been supported by the Louisville Institute, the Young Scholars in American Religion Program, the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University, and the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals.

Her current research project, Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid (under contract with Harvard University Press) examines the crucial role evangelical missionaries and popular religious media played in the extension of US aid abroad from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Analyzing the influence of missionaries and media on the emergence and development of international humanitarianism exposes the inextricable, yet deeply ambivalent and frequently contested links between practices of Christian charity and US imperialism. Articles on aspects of this research have been published in Material Religion: A Journal of Objects, Art & Belief; Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture; and The International Bulletin of Missionary Research.

Courses:

  • Religion, Race, and Nation in American History
  • Global Christianity
  • Introduction to Christianity
  • History of Religion in America
  • Religion and American Politics
  • Women and Religion in America

Publication Highlights:

Books:

  • Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, under contract, in progress).
  • 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.

Articles:

  • "'Pentecostal Missions and the Changing Character of Global Christianity," International Bulletin of Missionary Research 36:3 (July 2012): 122-128.
  • "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.

Essays in Peer Reviewed Books:

  • "Healing, Belief and Interpretation in 19th-Century Protestant America," in Spiritual Healing: Science, Meaning, and Discernment, ed. Sarah Coakley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, under contract, forthcoming 2013).
  • "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.
  • "Children of the Heavenly King: Hymns in the Religious and Social Experience of Children, 1780-1850," in Sing Them Over Again To Me: Hymns and Hymn Books in America, ed. Mark A. Noll and Edith L. Blumhofer (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2006), 214-234.

Major Awards:

  • 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.