Charles L. Cohen

Position title: Emeritus Professor


Charles 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.


Ph.D., University of California – Berkeley
B.A., Yale


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

History Courses