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Heather D. Curtis

Associate Professor of Religion, Tufts University

I am an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion at Tufts University, where I also hold appointments in the Department of Race, Colonialism and Diaspora; History; and International Relations.

My research explores how religion has shaped responses to humanitarian disasters, economic crises, and bodily illness from the late-nineteenth century to the present. My most 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 philanthropy at home and abroad from the late-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. My award-winning first book Faith in the Great Physician: Suffering and Divine Healing in American Culture, 1860-1900 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007) illumines the connections and tensions among Christian devotional practice, medical science, and the changing meanings of suffering and healing in American culture.

I have 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. I recently served as a senior editor for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion in America.

My 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. I received my doctorate in the History of Christianity and American Religion from Harvard University in 2005. I also studied theology at Gordon-Conwell and Princeton Seminaries, and hold a B.A. in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Religion, Tufts University


  • 2005 
    Harvard University, Doctorate in the History of Christianity