Jonathan Sheehan


Director, Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion


PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1999

BA, Brown University, 1991

Research Interests

The cultural and intellectual history of early modern Europe, with particular interest in the history of religion, science, and scholarship. Other areas include: the history of secularism and secularization, Jewish-Christian relations, the history of the disciplines, the afterlife of the Protestant Reformation, and the history of reading and print culture.

Academic Positions

Professor, UC Berkeley, 2014–

Associate Professor, UC Berkeley, 2007–2014

Associate Professor, University of Michigan, 2005–2007

Assistant Professor, Indiana University, 2000–2005

Selected Awards

Henry R. Luce Foundation, principal investigator and grant-writer for the “Berkeley Public Theology Project,” a 3 year initiative at the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, 2016-2019, $1 million.

Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Residential Fellow, Fall 2015-Summer 2016.

Townsend Center for the Humanities, Senior Faculty Fellow, 2014-15.

Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship for Recently Tenured Faculty, American Council of Learned Societies, Summer 2011-Summer 2012.

National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant, 2007–2009.


with Dror Wahrman, Invisible Hands: Self-Organization and the Eighteenth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

The Enlightenment Bible: Translation, Scholarship, Culture (Princeton University Press, 2005). Winner of the 2005 George L. Mosse Prize from the American Historical Association. Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2005.

Selected Articles

“Comparison and Christianity: Sacrifice in the Age of the Encyclopedia,” in Regimes of Comparatism: Frameworks of Comparison in History, Religion, and Anthropology ed. Renauld Gagné et al (Leiden: Brill, 2018).

“Suffering Job: Christianity Beyond Metaphysics,” in God in the Enlightenment, ed. William Bulman and Robert G. Ingram (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

Teaching Calvin in California,” New York Times (September 2016). 

“Thomas Hobbes, DD: Theology, Orthodoxy, and History,” Journal of Modern History 88 (June 2016): 249-274.

“Why We Should Teach Theology in the Public University,” Religion Dispatches (May 2016).

“When Was Disenchantment? History and the Secular Age,” Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age, ed. Craig Calhoun, Michael Warner, and Jonathan Van Antwerpen (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010).

“Sacrifice Before the Secular,” Representations 105 (Winter 2008): 12-36.

"Thinking About Idols in Early Modern Europe," special volume introduction for Journal of the History of Ideas 67 (October 2006): 561-69.

"The Altars of the Idols: Religion, Sacrifice, and the Early Modern Polity," Journal of the History of Ideas 67 (October 2006): 648-74.

"Sacred and Profane: Idolatry, Antiquarianism, and the Polemics of Distinction in the Seventeenth Century," Past and Present 192 (August 2006): 37-66.

"The Stamp of Time Elapsed: Anthropology and the Flood in the Seventeenth Century," Sintflut und Gedächtnis, ed. Martin Mulsow and Jan Assmann (Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2006), 321-336.

"Enlightenment, Religion, and the Enigma of Secularization," American Historical Review 108.4 (October 2003): 1061-1080.

Portrait of Jonathan Sheehan


3222 Dwinelle Hall

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