Kristin Kobes Du Mez

Kristin Du Mez


  • B.A., History and German, Dordt College
  • Ph.D., American History, specialties in women's history and religious history, University of Notre Dame


“I grew up in a small town in northwest Iowa, with a brief stint in Tallahassee, Florida, during my high school years. I then spent a year in Germany as an exchange student before returning to Iowa to attend Dordt College. After graduate school at the University of Notre Dame I spent time at Williams College and at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center at Mt. Holyoke, before taking up a position here at Calvin. I spend much of my time writing when I’m not wrangling my three kids.”

Academic interests

Kristin Du Mez’s research areas focus on the intersections of gender, religion, and politics in recent American history. She is the author of Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation (Liveright 2020), a study of white evangelical views of masculinity from the Cold War to the present, culminating in the election of Donald Trump. Coverage of Jesus and John Wayne can be found at NPR, Vox, and The Boston Globe. Her first book, A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism (Oxford 2015) traces the remarkable life and innovative theology of Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), an intrepid social reformer and anti-trafficking activist.

She is currently working on a religious history of Hillary Clinton, tentatively titled Journey of Faith: Hillary Clinton and the Polarization of American Christianity.

Kristin Du Mez teaches courses in US women’s history and US social and cultural history, and has enjoyed working with students on historical walking tours of Grand Rapids for the GR Walks app. Topics have included an East Grand Rapids walking tour of Ramona Park, a downtown Grand Rapids historical river walk, and a historical walking tour of beer in Grand Rapids.

For additional information, see You can follow Kristin and her research on Twitter and on Facebook.


Selected articles and book chapters
  • “Donald Trump and Militant Evangelical Masculinity.” In Evangelicalism: Why They Have Been, Are Now, and Could Be, edited by David Bebbington, George Marsden, and Mark Noll. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2019.
  • “Reorienting American Religious History: The Case of Katharine Bushnell.” In American Evangelicalism: George Marsden and the Shape of American Religious History, edited by Darren Dochuk, Thomas S. Kidd, and Kurt W. Peterson. University of Notre Dame Press, 2014.
  • “Selfishness One Degree Removed: Madeline Southard’s Desacralization of Motherhood and a Tradition of Progressive Methodism.” Priscilla Papers 28, no. 2 (Spring 2014): 17-22.    
  • “Katharine Bushnell” and “Lee Anna Starr.” In Biographical History of Women Biblical Interpreters. Baker Academic Press, 2012.
  • “Leaving Eden: Resurrecting the Work of Katharine Bushnell and Lee Anna Starr.” In Breaking Boundaries: Female Biblical Interpreters who Challenged the Status Quo. T&T Clark, 2010.

Read Kristin Du Mez's posts on Historical Horizons, the history department blog. Du Mez also blogs at Patheos’ Anxious Bench.

Additional publications, including popular articles and blog posts, can be found on her website

In the news

Jesus, John Wayne, and The Church

Historian’s work explores masculinity and evangelicalism

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