Randall J. Stephens

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Randall J. Stephens is an editor and historian of American religion.


Stephens is a Reader in History and American Studies at Northumbria University, in Newcastle, UK. He served as editor of the Journal of Southern Religion 2006–2010, and is an editor of Historically Speaking published by Johns Hopkins University Press,[1] based out of Boston University. He is also an associate editor of Fides et Historia. From 2004 to 2012 he taught in the History Department at Eastern Nazarene College.[2] Stephens has been named a Top Young Historian by the History News Network (HNN)[3][4] at George Mason University and selected as the 2008 Young Scholar of American Religion. Stephens has written for The New York Times, The Christian Century, the Immanent Frame, Religion Dispatches, and the Atlantic blog. In spring 2012 he was a Fulbright Roving Scholar in Norway.


He received his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Florida, where his dissertation explored the roots of holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South. It won the St. George Tucker Society's prize for best dissertation in Southern Studies and the University of Florida History Department’s Richard Milbauer dissertation award. Stephens also holds a Master's in Theological Studies from Nazarene Theological Seminary, a Master's in History from Emporia State University, and a bachelor's degree from Mid-America Nazarene College.

Published works[edit]

Stephens is the author of The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South (Harvard University Press). This book won Stephens the Smith-Wynkoop Book Award from the Wesleyan Theological Society and received praise from TLS, Publisher's Weekly and the Atlantic. In 2011 the the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press published his book, co-authored with science-and-religion scholar Karl Giberson, titled The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age. He is the editor of Recent Trends in Religious History, part of the "Historians in Conversation Series: Understanding the Past," with the University of South Carolina Press. He has authored chapters for volumes published by the University of Kentucky Press, Columbia University Press (the Bibliographic editor for The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History),[5] the University of South Carolina Press, Cambridge University Press, the University of Florida Press, and the University of Alabama Press.[3]

Notes and references[edit]