Jon H. Roberts

Tomorrow Foundation Professor of History, College of Arts & Sciences

Jon H. Roberts is the Tomorrow Foundation Professor of American Intellectual History at Boston University. He has written a number of articles dealing primarily with the history of the relationship between science and religion, as well as the book Darwinism and the Divine in America: Protestant Intellectuals and Organic Evolution, 1859-1900, which received the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize from the American Society of Church History. He has also co-authored with James Turner The Sacred and the Secular University (Princeton, 2001).

Roberts’s research interests center on the history of Anglo-American religious thought and the history of the relationship between science and religion in Europe and North America. He is currently working on a book dealing with the “inward turn“ within American Protestantism between 1840 and 1945. This inward turn, which was prompted largely by efforts to defend belief in the existence of the personal God of Christianity and the special status of the divine-human encounter in the face of challenges posed by scientific naturalists and secular psychologists, culminated in the emergence of emphases that were fundamental in generating the development of a “therapeutic culture” in the United States. He is also collecting material for a historical treatment of secularization in America.

Roberts has been a Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for American History at Harvard and the Wisconsin Institute for Research in the Humanities as well as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He has also been elected a member of the International Society of Science and Religion.