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Department ofReligious Studies

James Bennett

James B. Bennett

Associate Professor

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

James Bennett received his B.A. from UCLA, his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Yale University. He joined the Religious Studies Department at Santa Clara University in 2002. Before that, he taught at the University of Oklahoma. His area of specialization is American Religious History. His research and writing has focused on the intersection of religion and race, American Christianity. His current research is a study of the anticult movement in the late twentieth century. 


RSOC 9 Ways of Understanding Religion
RSOC 51 Religion in America
RSOC 111 Inventing Religion in America
RSOC 184 Religion and Race in the U.S.


“Pseudo Religion and Real Religion: The Modern Anticult Movement and Religious Freedom in America.” In The Lively Experiment: The Story of Religious Toleration in America, from Roger Williams to the Present, edited by Chris Beneke and Christopher Grenda. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

 “Farewell to Faith? The Changing Role of Religion in Presidential Politics” Theology Today 70 (October 2013): 281-94.

"Tensions Within: The Elusive Quest for Christian Cooperation in America." In American Christianities: A History of Dominance and Diversity, edited by Catherine A. Brekus and W. Clark Gilpin. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2011.

"Until This Curse of Polygamy is Wiped Out": Black Methodists, White Mormons, and Constructions of Racial Identity in the Late Nineteenth Century." Religion and American Culture Vol. 21 (Summer 2011): 167-194.

Religion and the Rise of Jim Crow in New Orleans. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.