Philip Jenkins is distinguished professor of history at Baylor University, and serves
as co-director for the program on historical studies of religion in the Institute
for Studies of Religion (ISR).
He is one of the world’s leading religion scholars; Economist magazine dubbed him “one of America’s best scholars of religion.” A historian by training, Jenkins has been lauded for his work in many different disciplines
including sociology, criminology and religious studies.
Jenkins' major interests include the study of global Christianity; of new and emerging
religious movements; and of 20th century U.S. history, chiefly post-1970. He has published 24
books, which have been translated into 10 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 doctorate in history from Cambridge University, where he spent an
additional three years working with Sir Leon Radzinowicz, the pioneer of criminology
at Cambridge. 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 social sciences at Baylor University:
“Jenkins is a world-class scholar who really appreciates Baylor’s vision.” Martin
Medhurst, distinguished professor of rhetoric and communication, agrees with these
observations. “Philip Jenkins is truly a rare academic in that his work not only appeals
to such a wide range of scholars, but it is equally appreciated among popular audiences,”
Jenkins collaborates with the ISR on a number of research initiatives, and partners
with ISR scholars on future studies of religion around the globe as well as ongoing
historical studies of religion.