David Morgan

Professor of Religion

Chair, Department of Religion


David Morgan's major interests are the history of religious visual and print culture and American religious and cultural history. At Duke he teaches courses in the areas of American religious history, visual theory, and the visual culture of religion.

Morgan edited and contributed to a volume of essays, Icons of American Protestantism: The Art of Warner Sallman (Yale University Press, 1996; yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=9780300063424), which examined the history of the popular religious art of a commercial artist. The book was selected as one of the American Library Association's CHOICE Outstanding Books for 1996. His second book, Visual Piety: A History and Theory of Popular Religious Images, published by the University of California Press (1998), assembles a historical overview and theoretical analysis of religious images (www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/7071.php). Protestants and Pictures: Religion, Visual Culture, and the Age of American Mass Production, which examines the historical relations among mass production, commerce, millennialism, and popular religious images in nineteenth-century America, was published by Oxford University Press in 1999. www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/ReligionTheology/HistoryofChristianity/American/?view=usa&ci=9780195130294  This book received the 1999 Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award in the category of religion and philosophy from the Association of American Publishers. Morgan co-edited (with Prof. Sally M. Promey) and contributed to a volume of essays entitled The Visual Culture of American Religions, published by the University of California Press (2001;  www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9041.php). The Sacred Gaze: Religious Visual Culture in Theory and Practice (University of California Press, 2005): (www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/10292.html) is an introduction to the study of the visual culture of religion.

Morgan co-edits a book series entitled "Religion & Media" published by Routledge. He is co-founder and co-editor of the international scholarly journal, Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief, published by Berg, www.bergpublishers.com/JournalsHomepage/MaterialReligion/tabid/517/Default.aspx. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the journal Religion and Society, a member of the Board of Editors of Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation, and of the editorial board of the "Religions in the Americas" section of Religion Compass, the online journal published by Blackwell.

The Lure of Images: A History of Religion and Visual Media in America (Routledge, 2007) is a history of mass-produced religious visual media from 1800 to the present in the United States, ranging from tract illustrations to panoramas, photography, film, and television (www.routledgereligion.com/books/The-Lure-of-Images-isbn9780415409155).

Two major projects that appeared in 2008 are: Key Words in Religion, Media, and Culture (www.routledgereligion.com/books/Key-Words-in-Religion-Media-and-Culture-isbn9780415448635); and Re-Enchantment, a volume he has co-edited with James Elkins, which appeared from Routledge in the fall. www.routledgeart.com/books/Re-Enchantment-isbn9780415960526

Morgan edited and contributed to Religion and Material Culture: The Matter of Belief, a collection of essays by fifteen authors from around the world who investigate the relevance of materiality for understanding belief--not as creedal, propositional assent, but as embodied, material practice in several religious traditions. The book was published by Routledge in 2010. www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415481168/

Morgan’s latest book is The Embodied Eye: Religious Visual Culture and the Social Life of Feeling, which was published by the University of California Press in March, 2012. http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520272231 He is currently working on a new book, The Face of Belief: A History of the Visual Cultures of Modern Christianity


Summary of Work and Interests

   Duke University

    Department of Religion

    118 Gray, Box 90964

    Durham, North Carolina 27708

    email:  dm127@duke.edu

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