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Jon Pahl

Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Professor of the History of Christianity


Dr. Pahl's CV

Ph.D. - The University of Chicago Divinity School (The History of Christianity) 1990
M.T.S. - Trinity Lutheran Seminary (History, Theology, Society) 1983
B.A. - Valparaiso University (History, Religion, Christ College) 1980

Jon Pahl is a historian, author, teacher, pastor, researcher, business-planner, and community activist.
Dr. Pahl received his BA in history and theology from Valparaiso University, MTS from Trinity Lutheran Seminary (Columbus, OH), and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School.
Jon has published numerous articles and reviews and seven books, most recently the first critical biography in English of the controversial Turkish Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen.  
“JP,”as he is known by many of his students, has spoken with audiences from Accra, Ghana to Anaheim, California, including at Cambridge, Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, and many other colleges, universities, churches, bookstores, mosques, libraries and other public settings all over the globe. Jon lives on a lake in Clintonville, Wisconsin with his wife, Lisa, dog, Theo, and two cats (Layla and Izzy). Jon and Lisa enjoy spending time with their extended family, gardening, kayaking, and Jon likes sitting in on the saxophone with various bands and gospel choirs.  
In addition to his academic work, Dr. Pahl is the Minister of Faith Formation and Community Engagement at Union Congregational United Church of Christ, Green Bay, WI.  Union is the longest-continually worshiping Protestant church in the state of Wisconsin, dating back to 1836.  The church was a stop on the Underground Railroad, has been Open and Affirming for twenty years, has a vital new jazz ministry, and is a beacon of progressive Christianity in Green Bay.  
As part of his work at Union, Jon has helped start-up The Brain Center of Green Bay, located in a re-purposed office space on the church’s ground floor.  The Brain Center of Green Bay is a non-profit dedicated to promoting brain health throughout the life-course.  The agency provides assistance to families struggling with neuro-degenerative diseases.  
Dr. Pahl is completing a book with the title A Coming Religious Peace, focusing on the emergence of religious peacebuilding as a potent force for positive change in cultures around the globe.


Dr. Pahl has published dozens of articles, essays, columns, and reviews; has appeared on media outlets from the BBC to ABC, and is author or editor of six books, most recently Shopping Malls and Other Sacred Spaces: Putting God in Place (Wipf and Stock), and Empire of Sacrifice: The Religious Origins of American Violence (NYU). All of his books are on amazon.com.

Mailing Address

7301 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19119