Professor Shaw works on the history of modern Christianity, with a particular focus on Britain and the USA. She is especially interested in the impact of lived religion (or religious practice) on intellectual history, which she explored in her book Miracles in Enlightenment England (Yale 2006). Her more recent work is on the late 19th and early 20th century and explores the relationship between gender, modernity and religion. In 2001, she discovered the archives of a millenarian group that had flourished in 1920s and 30s Britain, and that research led to her book Octavia, Daughter of God: The Story of a Female Messiah and her Followers (Yale 2011), which won the San Francisco Book Festival History Prize. She is currently writing about the revival of interest in mysticism in the early twentieth century, and its relationship to the flight from institutional religion in that period. She is also working on a project on empathy, the arts and social change with the actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith.

Professor Shaw is also the Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University, and you can read more about her responsibilities in that role here.

PhD (History) U. C. Berkeley (1994)

M.Div. (Religion) Harvard University (1988)

BA (History) and MA (History), University of Oxford (1985, 1991)