Tisa Wenger

Tisa Wenger's picture
Associate Professor, Divinity School, American Studies, and Religious Studies
409 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-2167

Tisa Wenger is Associate Professor of American Religious History at Yale Divinity School, with secondary appointments in Religious Studies and American Studies at Yale. She holds a doctorate in religious studies from Princeton University and also taught for five years at Arizona State University. Wenger’s first book,We Have a Religion: The 1920s Pueblo Indian Dance Controversy and American Religious Freedom (University of North Carolina Press, 2009), shows how the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico deployed the concepts of religion and religious freedom to defend their ceremonial practices against government suppression and found them reshaped in the process. More recently, her book Religious Freedom: The Contested History of an American Ideal (University of North Carolina Press, 2017) explores the significance of religious freedom for a variety of colonized and minority peoples, arguing that this ideal worked historically to structure but also to unsettle the racial-religious assemblages of empire. Wenger’s current book project, Settler Secularism: The Grounds of American Religion, asks how settler colonial encounters made and remade both indigenous and white settler religion in the early United States. She has also published essays on topics including the problematics of religious freedom in Native American history, the history of U.S. secularism, and the religious legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms.