Charles L. Cohen

Trained as an historian of Anglo-America, I have become increasingly interested in American religious history and, as both former director of the UW-Madison Religious Studies Program and current director of the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions, comparative religion. At this point my projects are eclectic: at the moment, they include editing an English text of the Qur'an.

My research interests include American Religious History, Colonial America, Native Peoples of the Eastern Woodlands, 1500-1800.


  • PhD - University of California - Berkeley
  • BA - Yale 


Charles L. Cohen and Ronald L. Numbers, eds., Gods in America: Religious Pluralism in the United States (New York, 2013).  View Book Details
Leonard V. Kaplan and Charles L. Cohen, eds., Theology and the Soul of the Liberal State (Lanham, MD, 2010).  View Book Details
Charles L. Cohen and Paul S. Boyer, Religion and the Culture of Print in Modern America (Madison, WI, 2008).  View Book Details

Selected Publications:

  • “The Construction of the Mormon People,” Journal of Mormon History 32 (2006): 25-64
  • “Religion,” in James Ciment, ed., Colonial America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History, 5 vols. (Armonk, NY, 2006), 1.58-69.
  • “No Man Knows My Psychology: Fawn Brodie, Joseph Smith, and Psychoanalysis,” BYU Studies, 44, 1 (2005), 55-78.
  • “Max Weber in New England,” in David Libby and Paul Spickard, eds., Affect and Power: Essays on Sex, Slavery, Race, and Religion in Appreciation of Winthrop D. Jordan, (n.p., 2005), 170-82.
  • “The Colonization of North America as an Episode in the History of Christianity,” Church History, 72 (September, 2003), 553-68.
  • “A Middle Way for Religious Studies,” Bulletin of the Council of Societies for the Study of Religion, 32, 1 (February, 2003), 11-13.
  • “Was the Great Awakening a factor leading to the American Revolution? - No,” in Keith Krawczynski, ed., History in Dispute, vol. 12: The American Revolution (Columbia, S.C., 2003), 149-53.

Selected Awards:

  • Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians, 2008-2014
  • co-recipient, Metanexus Global Societies Initiative Grant, 2008-13
  • co-recipient, Metanexus Local Societies Initiative Grant, 2005-08
  • Joseph Fielding Smith Institute Research Fellowship, 2004
  • Asia-Pacific Study Fund Short-Term Research Fellowship, Japan, 2004
  • Osaka University of Foreign Studies International Academic Exchange Fellowship, 2004
  • Phi Beta Kappa Distinguished Teaching Award, 2002
  • Anonymous Fund, UW-Madison, 2002, 2006
  • Emil H. Steiger Distinguished Teaching Award, 1997
  • F.F. Johnson Teaching Award, History Department, 1995, 1996
  • Elected UW-Madison Teaching Academy, 1996
  • Karen F. F. Johnson Award (UW History Dept.), 1995, 1996
  • N.E.H. Younger Scholars Award (faculty co-recipient), 1995
  • UW Faculty/Student Hilldale Research Award, 1992, 1995
  • Romnes Fellowship, UW-Madison, 1990-95
  • Vilas Associateship, 1991-93
  • Institute for Research in the Humanities, Visiting Fellow, 1986
  • Allan Nevins Prize, Society of American Historians.

Advisor To:

  • Maggie Flamingo
  • Erin Kramer
  • Jonathan Reid
  • Megan Stanton
  • Lindsay Wengloski

History Courses:

Charles L. Cohen

E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions



4115 Mosse Humanities

4025 Mosse Humanities

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