Marie Griffith, the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, is director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics and the editor of the Center’s journal, Religion & Politics.
Professor Griffith obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia in Political and Social Thought and her Ph.D. in the study of religion from Harvard University. She held consecutive postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton University and Northwestern University before joining the Princeton faculty as associate director of the Center for the Study of Religion. She earned tenure in 2003 and was promoted to Professor of Religion in 2005. While at Princeton, Griffith directed the women and gender studies program, and she was awarded both the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Cotsen Fellowship for Distinguished Teaching. She spent two years on the Harvard University faculty as the John A. Bartlett Professor before moving to Washington University in 2011. In 2015 she was appointed a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.
Her first major publication was God’s Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission (1997), which examines the practices and perceptions of contemporary evangelical women. Her next book Born Again Bodies: Flesh and Spirit in American Christianity (2004), explores the history of Christian-influenced attitudes and practices related to embodiment in modern America, culminating in the evangelical diet and fitness movement. These books, along with her three edited volumes—Women and Religion in the African Diaspora: Knowledge, Power, and Performance (co-edited with Barbara Dianne Savage, 2006), Religion and Politics in the Contemporary United States (co-edited with Melani McAlister, 2008), and American Religions: A Documentary History (2007)—exhibit Griffith’s varied and thoughtful scholarship. Her newest book, Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics, was published in December 2017 by Basic Books. In addition to her books, Professor Griffith has published numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, and review essays.
Griffith is a frequent media commentator and public speaker on current issues pertaining to religion and politics, including the changing profile of American evangelicals and ongoing conflicts over gender, sexuality, and marriage.