Dr. Philippa Koch


Languages Cultures and Religions

Role: Faculty
Campus: Springfield

Postal mail

Missouri State University
Languages Cultures and Religions
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 Care: Religion, Medicine, and the Intimacies of Empire," explores how Christian visions of charity and benevolence shifted with colonial encounters, Enlightenment ideas, 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 Zocalo (2021), 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 enjoy serving on the Editorial Board for the journal American Religion and as the Regionally-Elected Coordinator for the Midwest Region of the American Academy of Religion.



  • PhD, History of Christianity, 2016, University of Chicago Divinity School

  • MA, Religion, 2007, University of Chicago Divinity School
  • BA, American Studies, 2004, Georgetown University


  • 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
  • REL 771 Body and Sexuality in Religion and Culture (Graduate Program)

Research and professional interests

  • Colonial America and Atlantic World
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Religion and Sexuality
  • Caregiving
  • Maternity
  • Pietism

Awards and honors

  • Summer Faculty Fellowship, Graduate College, Missouri State University, 2023
  • 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