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David Morgan, Professor and Chair

David Morgan
Contact Info:
Office Location:  Department of Religious Studies, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  +1 919 660 3555
Email Address:   send me a message
Web Page:


Ph.D.The University of Chicago1990
M.A.University of Arizona1984
B.A.Concordia College1980

American Religious History
Research Interests: material culture of religion, religion and media

Current projects: The Forge of Vision: Image and Imagination in Modern Christianity, delivered as the 2012 Cadbury Lectures, University of Birmingham, England, March 7 to 15, 2012.

David Morgan is Professor of Religious Studies with a secondary appointment in the Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies at Duke. He also chairs the Department of Religious Studies at Duke. Morgan received his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1990. He has published several books and dozens of essays on the history of religious visual culture, on art history and critical theory, and on religion and media. His most recent book is The Embodied Eye: Religious Visual Culture and the Social Life of Feeling (California, 2012). Other books are: The Lure of Images: A History of Religion and Visual Media in America (Routledge, 2007) and two that he edited and contributed to: Religion and Material Culture: The Matter of Belief (Routledge, 2010) and Key Words in Religion, Media, and Culture (Routledge, 2008). Earlier works include: Visual Piety (University of California Press, 1998), Protestants and Pictures (Oxford, 1999), and The Sacred Gaze (California, 2005). Morgan is co-founder and co-editor of the international scholarly journal, Material Religion, and co-editor of a book series at Routledge entitled “Religion, Media, and Culture.”

Current Ph.D. Students  

  • Brenna Jorgenson
  • Torang Asadi
  • Jamie Brummitt
  • Stephanie Gehring
  • Eric Chalfant
  • Adrienne Krone
  • Sonia Hazard
  • Andrew Coates
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Morgan, D. "FROM LOGOS TO LOGO AND BACK AGAIN: Images as Transactional Objects in the History of Christian Devotion." Selling the Sacred: Religion and Marketing from Crossfit to QAnon. January, 2024, 17-37. [doi]  [abs]
  2. Morgan, D. The sacred gaze: Religious visual culture in theory and practice. September, 2023: 1-318.  [abs]
  3. Morgan, D. "Agency, Images, and Visual Culture: the impact of Hans Belting." Material Religion 19:3 (January, 2023): 310-311. [doi]
  4. Morgan, D. "Chance and Lived Religion: The Material Culture of Transforming Randomness into Purpose." The Bloomsbury Handbook of Material Religion in the Ancient Near East and Egypt. January, 2023, 9-19.
  5. Morgan, D. "RELIGION." Contested Concepts in the Study of Religion: a Critical Exploration. January, 2022, 105-110.

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