Dr. Jane Donovan’s Homepage

Dr. Donovan


DMin, Wesley Theological Seminary
Specialization: History of Christianity
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Nothing ever happens in a vacuum. We cannot understand any historical event without understanding the context in which it occurred. This is true for religious history as well as secular history. It isn’t enough to know that Phoebe Palmer led the early Holiness Movement without understanding why she was disillusioned with the institutional church. It isn’t enough to quote the stirring speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. that inspired the Civil Rights Movement without understanding the importance of the church to the African American community.

Over the past fifteen years, I have written seven books and many articles on American religious history and Washington DC history. My research interests are embourgeoisement and institutionalization of the American church in the early national period; the interaction between religion and politics in the United States; and the history of the theology of Christian hospitality (how the church has taught and behaved around the issue of welcoming strangers). I am also deeply concerned with the great ideological/political divide in the modern mainline churches and what American religious history might have to teach us about how to reunite the feuding forces in the institutional church.

I once sat in the classrooms where you now sit. It’s a joy and a privilege to return to my beloved alma mater to teach, mentor, and encourage as I was once taught, mentored, and encouraged. Let’s go, Mountaineers

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