Jonathon S. Kahn

Professor of Religion
A person with short brown hair and a dark blue jacket smiles at the camera.

Jonathon S. Kahn (AB Princeton University; PhD, Columbia University 2003) is Professor of Religion. His teaching and writing interests are at the intersection of race, religious ethics, and politics. His current work explores the formation of modern versions of secularism. Kahn is the author of Divine Discontent: The Religious Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois (Oxford University Press, 2009) and the editor of (with Vincent Lloyd) Race and Secularism in America (Columbia University Press, 2016). His recent essays on secularity include, “When the Westboro Baptist Church Came to Vassar College” in Soundings; “The Virtue of Democratic Faith: A Recovery for Difficult Times” and “Pragmatism, Messianism, and Political Theology after Ted Smith’s Weird John Brown” in Political Theology; “Secularism and Religion in American Education,” in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Education; and “Reading Wayne Proudfoot’s Religious Experience: Pragmatism, Naturalism, and the Limits of Democratic Discourse”, in Pragmatism and Naturalism. He’s actively working on a book, Secularism in America (Routledge) and after that will turn to a long planned project, Black Democratic Faith: A Reconstruction.

BA, Princeton University; MA, MPhil, PhD, Columbia University in the City of New York
At Vassar since 2005


Blodgett Hall
Box 341

Departments and Programs


AFRS/RELI 330 Religion, Critical Theory and Politics

In the Media

person writing their answer on a large Post-it poster titled with the question, 'What Should Future Founder's Days Look Like?'

The Engaged Pluralism Race and Racism in Historical Collections Working Group hosted an event three days before Founder’s Day that asked members of the Vassar community to examine the racist elements that were present during Founders Day’s in the past.

three standing people behind a table talking animatedly and writing things down on pads

Lauding the success of a five-year experiment known as the Engaged Pluralism Initiative, President Elizabeth H. Bradley has announced the program will continue as an integral part of the campus culture.


Download images for non-commercial use, photo credit required.