Faculty Experts - Brett Grainger, ThD

Brett Grainger, Theology & religious Studies

Brett Grainger, ThD
Assistant Professor

Areas of Expertise:

  • History of Christianity
  • American Religious History
  • Modern Spirituality
  • Religious Fundamentalism
  • Religion and Nature


Dr. Grainger is a go-to source to discuss the role and changing face of modern spirituality in America. He can talk about today’s religious trends including the state of main line religions, alternative religions, the religious right and politics, religious fundamentalism, religious violence and culture wars. He can also place today’s religious landscape in a broader historical context. Dr. Grainger’s research focuses on religion and nature – how various religions view the natural world as a place to commune with God.


  • ThD, Harvard University
  • MTS, Harvard University
  • MA, University of Toronto
  • B.A., McGill University

Selected Professional Experience:

  • Instructor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Villanova University
  • Instructor, Harvard University

Selected Publications:

  • Grainger, Brett, Curtis, Heather D., ed., “Nature,’ The Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion in America. New York: Oxford University Press, (forthcoming).
  • Grainger, Brett, White, Christopher, G., ed., untitled book project on American Metaphysicals. New York: Columbia   University Press, (forthcoming).
  • Grainger, Brett, Review of Russell Richey, Methodism in the American Forest, in Journal of Religion (April   2017).
  • Grainger, Brett, “Vital Nature and Vital Piety: Johann Arndt and the Evangelical Vitalism of Cotton Mather,” Church History 81:4 (Dec. 2012), 852–872.

Research Interests:

  • Religion and nature: Evangelicals attitudes toward the
    natural world in the 19th century.

About Villanova

Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.

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