Heather Curtis

about

I’m a historian, author, and Associate Professor of Religion at Tufts University. I write about how religion has shaped responses to humanitarian disasters, economic crises, and illness from the late-nineteenth century to the present. By exploring the ways American Christians of earlier generations endeavored to relieve suffering, I uncover the seeds of today’s heated debates about the about the practice of philanthropy, the politics of poverty relief, and the ethics of medicine.

new book

Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid
Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid. Illustration of a woman in a white dress helping the less fortunate

“A remarkable achievement. Holy Humanitarians offers valuable insights into issues of domestic inequality, Christian–Muslim encounters abroad, and Americans’ ambivalent attitudes about the suffering of distant others. This thoughtful, nuanced exploration of the contradictions of humanitarian sentiment is rich and compelling.”

Melani McAlister, author of The Kingdom of God Has No Borders: A Global History of American Evangelicals

“Deeply researched and cogently argued, Holy Humanitarians is a major contribution to the literature on the American missionary impulse and philanthropy. Curtis is a master stylist; her book is a model of how to write with beauty and grace.”

Grant Wacker, author of America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation
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Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid. Illustration of a woman in a white dress helping the less fortunate