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James P. Byrd

Professor of American Religious History
On leave fall 2020 Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research
Chair, Graduate Department of Religion

James P. Byrd is professor of American Religious History, chair of the Graduate Department of Religion, and Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research. He earned his master's degree at Duke University and his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University. His research interests center on religion, violence, and the Bible in American history. He recently completed his fourth single-authored book, “A Holy Baptism of Fire and Blood”: The Bible and the American Civil War, which is scheduled for publication in February 2021 with Oxford University Press. He previously published Sacred Scripture, Sacred War: The Bible and the American Revolution, also with Oxford University Press (2013).

Recent news and reviews

Courses (selected):

  • Religion, Slavery, and the American Civil War
  • History of Global Christianity, II
  • History of the United Methodist Tradition 
  • History of the Baptist Tradition
  • American Revivals
  • American Apocalyptic Thought and Movements

Selected publications:

  • Sacred Scripture, Sacred War: The Bible and the American Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • Jonathan Edwards for Armchair Theologians (WJK)
  • The Challenges of Roger Williams: Religious Liberty, Violent Persecution, and the Bible (Mercer University Press)
  • "We Can If We Will: Regeneration and Benevolence" in After Jonathan Edwards: The Courses of the New England Theology (ed. Oliver D. Crisp and Douglas A. Sweeney, Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • "The New World of North America and Canada and the Globalization of Critical Biblical Scholarship" in The Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation, Vol. III, the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (ed. Magne Saeboe,2013)
  • "Baptist Tradition and Heritage" in Encyclopedia of Religion in America (ed. Charles Lippy and Peter Williams, CQ)
  • Several articles in The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity.