Aaron L. Griffith

Historian of American Religion

I teach history and religion at Sattler College in Boston. I write and speak about American religion, politics, and criminal justice for academic and popular audiences.

My book on the history of American evangelicalism and mass incarceration is forthcoming in fall of 2020 with Harvard University Press. My writing has also appeared in publications like The Washington Post, Christianity Today, Religion News Service, Religions, and Fides et Historia.

© Aaron Griffith


Here are some of my recent publications:

"Paula White-Cain’s Evangelical Support Squad Isn’t as Surprising as It Seems," Christianity Today, October 22, 2019 (co-authored with Leah Payne)

"'The Real Victim of Lynch Law Is the Government': American Protestant Anti-Lynching Advocacy and the Making of Law and Order", Religions, February 2019

“‘Jesus Christ is the Only Control’: Crime, Delinquency, and Evangelical Conversion in the Early Postwar Era,” Fides et Historia 50, no. 1 (Winter/Spring)

"Wheaton’s controversy over Muslims and Christians ignores the school’s own history," The Washington Post, January 5, 2016

“Why Evangelicals Are Divided by Afterlife Testimonials,” Religion News Service, March 26, 2015

"How evangelicals use marijuana to sell religion," The Christian Century, March 26, 2014

"Prisoners and the least of these in American Protestantism," The Christian Century, April 30, 2014

I have also been quoted in publications like Christianity Today, The Atlantic, and AL.com and regularly speak at churches, conferences, and community events on topics related to American religion, politics, and criminal justice. If you would like my thoughts or are interested in having me come speak for your event, please contact me.


I am assistant professor of history at Sattler College. I was previously a postdoctoral research associate at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. I also have taught in Washington University’s Prison Education Project and Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics.

I earned my master’s and doctoral degrees from Duke University Divinity School, and a BA in philosophy from Wheaton College. I have received fellowships from organizations like the Louisville Institute and the Center for the Study of Philanthropy and Voluntarism at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy.

I am currently at work on a book on the history of evangelical Christian influence in modern American criminal justice (forthcoming fall 2020, with Harvard University Press). My broader academic interests include American religious history (particularly evangelicalism, African-American religions, and social reform), Christianity in the global south, and American political history.


Sattler College
Race and Religion in American Life, Spring 2020
History, Philosophy, Literature, and Art of the Modern Era, Spring 2020
Historical Theology, Spring 2020
Crime and Punishment in American History, Fall 2019
History, Philosophy, Literature, and Art of Medieval and Renaissance Europe, Fall 2019

Prison Education Project, Washington University in St. Louis
Religion and American Society, Summer 2019

John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis
Religion and American Society, Summer 2019
Religious Dissent and Reform in American Life, Spring 2019

Duke Divinity School, Co-Instructor
Restorative Justice, Prison Ministry, and the Church (with Douglas Campbell), Spring 2018

Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University
Religion and Mass Incarceration in America, Spring 2017

La Iglesia Evangelica Metodista in Cusco, Peru, Instructor
History of Christianity, Methodist Course of Study, March 2015

Contact Me