Dr. Philippa Koch


Religious Studies

Role: Faculty
Campus: Springfield

Postal mail

Missouri State University
Religious Studies
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897


My main research interest is the history of religion in America, with a focus on colonial America and the Atlantic world. In my first book, The Course of God’s Providence: Religion, Health and the Body in Early America (NYU, 2021), I examine how Christian communities responded to sickness and epidemics in a context of ever-new medical and scientific developments. My current research project, "Cartographies of Motherhood: Defining Early American Women in Missions and Reform," explores how Christian visions of maternity shifted with colonial encounters, charitable efforts, and the founding of the American republic.

My teaching on health and body brings my research to the modern world, and I enjoy exploring the connections between past and present and the continuing relevance of the themes of medicine, body, sexuality, and emotion in American religion.

In addition to my book, I have published articles in Religions (2018) and Church History (20152016), and my writing has also appeared in The Atlantic (2016), Notches (2016), and Sightings (2012). Most recently, I have written on the coronavirus pandemic and modern healthcare and vulnerability and aging, and participated in a "Religion &" forum on the role of religion in debates over the pandemic, church attendance, and vaccines.

I also serve as the Book Review Editor for the journal American Religion and I am the Regionally-Elected Coordinator for the Midwest Region of the American Academy of Religion.



  • PhD, 2016, University of Chicago Divinity School


  • REL 131 Religion in America
  • REL 346 Sexuality and American Religion
  • REL 368 Health and Body in American Religions
  • REL 580/685 Theories of Religion

Awards and honors

  • Young Scholars in American Religion Program, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, 2019-2021
  • David B. Larson Fellowship in Health and Spirituality, John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, 2018
  • Dr. Liselotte Kirchner Postdoctoral Fellow, Francke Foundations, Halle, 2017
  • Colonial Essay Award, Colonial Society of Pennsylvania, 2016
  • Sidney E. Mead Prize, American Society of Church History, 2015
  • Junior Fellow, Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion, 2015-2016
  • Newcombe Fellow, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, 2014-2015
  • Carpenter Fellow, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, 2013-2014