Institute of the Americas


Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid

Start: Jun 28, 2018 06:00 PM

Location: UCL Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN

June 28 2018 | 18:00

Book launch: Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid

Professor Heather Curtis (Tufts University) will discuss her recent book Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid (Harvard University Press, 2018).

Holy Humanitarians’ examines the crucial role played by popular religious media in the extension of US philanthropy at home and abroad from the late-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Drawing on rigorous archival research, Curtis lays bare the theological motivations, social forces, cultural assumptions, business calculations, and political dynamics that shaped Americans’ ambivalent embrace of evangelical charity during a pivotal period in the nation’s history. In the process she uncovers the seeds of today’s heated debates over the politics of poverty relief and international aid.

Heather Curtis is Associate Professor of Religion at Tufts University, where she teaches courses on American Religious History; Religion, Race and Politics in the United States; and the Global History of Christianity. Her research explores how religion has shaped responses to humanitarian disasters, economic crises, and bodily illness from the late-nineteenth century to the present. Her first book, Faith in the Great Physician: Suffering and Divine Healing in American Culture, 1860-1900 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007) illumines the connections and tensions among Christian devotional practice, medical science, and the changing meanings of suffering and healing in American culture. The book was awarded the prestigious Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer prize from the American Society of Church History for the best first book in the History of Christianity. For more information, visit: www.heatherdcurtis.com

Professor Curtis’ talk will be followed by Q&A and a reception.

The event is jointly organized by UCL Institute for the Americas, King’s College London, and the University of Southampton. The organizers are grateful for the support of the Henry Luce Foundation’s Religion in International Affairs Program.

Attendance to this event is free of charge but registration is required. IMPORTANT NOTE ON ACCESS TO 51 GORDON SQUARE: in order to ensure a smooth delivery of the lecture and for ease of logistics, access to the building may be restricted after the start of the event. We will endeavour to accommodate late arrivals within reason, but an early arrival is recommended to avoid disappointment. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.