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Matthew Patrick Rowley

Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Fairfield University

Matthew Rowley an American researcher who works on the relationship between religion and violence.

Matthew Rowley received his PhD in early modern religious and political history from the University of Leicester. His thesis was entitled ‘Godly Violence: Military Providentialism in the Puritan Atlantic World, 1636–1676’. This study traced Puritan interpretations of providence in military victory over enemies in England, Ireland, Scotland and colonial America. It focused on how beliefs were created, sustained, contested and occasionally dismantled. The work also touched on issues of identity, race, slavery, law and memory. He is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of Leicester, a Non-Stipendiary Fellow at the Woolf Institute and a Research Associate at the Cambridge Institute on Religion & International Studies (Clare College). He is currently working on a project on Protestant political thought—ranging from Martin Luther to WWI.

His first monograph, 'Trump and the Protestant Reaction to Make America Great Again' (Routledge, 2020), ranges from Plymouth to the killing of George Floyd and explores what American Protestants remember and forget about 400 years of racism, sexism, violence and exploitation.

Among his published works are 'What Causes Religious Violence?: Three Hundred Claimed Contributing Causes' (Journal of Religion and Violence), 'How Should We Respond to Religious Violence?: Fifteen Ways to Critique our Own Thoughts' (Ethics in Brief), '"All Pretend an Holy War": Radical Beliefs and the Rejection of Persecution in the Mind of Roger Williams' (Review of Faith & International Affairs) and 'A New Theory of Just and Holy Warfare: The Complicated Case of Puritan Violence', in, Religion and Conflict in Medieval and Early Modern Worlds (Routledge, forthcoming).


  • 2022–present
    Adjunct professor, Quinnipiac University
  • 2022–present
    Adjunct professor, Fairfield University
  • 2019–present
    Honorary Visiting Fellow, University of Leicester
  • 2019–2021
    Research Associate: 'Wilberforce Diaries', University of Leicester
  • 2019–2019
    Research Associate: 'Remembering the Reformation', University of Cambridge


  • 2018 
    University of Leicester, PhD (Puritan violence in the Atlantic World)

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society