Distinguished Professor of History
Co-Director, Program on Historical Studies of Religion
Philip Jenkins is Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor, and serves as Co-Director for the Program on Historical Studies of Religion in the Institute for Studies of Religion.
He is one of the world’s leading religion scholars. An historian by training, Jenkins’ work has been lauded in many different disciplines including sociology, criminology, and religious studies.
Dr Jenkins’ major current interests include the study of global Christianity; of new and emerging religious movements; and of twentieth century US history, chiefly post-1970. He has published twenty-four books, which have been translated into ten languages. Some recent titles include Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History (2000), The Next Christendom: The Rise of Global Christianity (2002), The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South (2006), The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa and Asia – and How It Died (2008), Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, And Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe For The Next 1,500 Years (2010), Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses (2011) and The Great and Holy War: How World War I became a Religious Crusade.
Jenkins holds a Ph.D. in History from Cambridge University, where he spent an additional three years working with Sir Leon Radzinowicz, the pioneer of Criminology at Cambridge. In fact, Jenkins has an enduring interest in issues of crime and deviance, and the construction of social problems. He is considered an international expert on the subject of terrorism.
According to Rodney Stark, Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor, the connection of Jenkins to Baylor is an obvious one – “Jenkins is a world-class scholar who really appreciates Baylor University’s 2012 vision.” Martin Medhurst, Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication, agrees with those observations, “Philip Jenkins is truly a rare academic in that his work not only appeals to such a wide range of scholars, but is equally appreciated among popular audiences.” The Economist magazine has called him “one of America’s best scholars of religion.”
Jenkins collaborates with ISR on a number of different research initiatives and partners with ISR scholars on future studies of religion around the globe as well as ongoing historical studies of religion.