University of Richmond Professor Awarded Fellowship for New Book on Religious Violence in the Jefferson Era

Douglas Winiarski Receives Funding from International Center for Jefferson Studies
August 29, 2023

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Douglas L. Winiarski, professor of religious studies at the University of Richmond, has been awarded a $50,000 Fritz and Claudine Kundrun Open-Rank Fellowship from the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies for his new book project.

Kundrun Fellows are dedicated to the research and writing of a book that will make a significant contribution to the scholarship and legacy of Thomas Jefferson. Winiarski, an expert on religion in early America, will spend the 2023–24 academic year in residence at Monticello working on his next book, Shakers & the Shawnee Prophet: Making & Breaking Religious Communities on the Jeffersonian Frontier, 1805–1825.

“This project will explore how the unique cross-cultural encounters that took place between the Shakers and the Shawnee Prophet deepen our understanding of the origins of the southern Bible Belt, and perhaps will inspire readers seeking a way forward through the religious and political maelstrom of our own times,” said Winiarski. 

Winiarski is also author of the book Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England, which chronicles the religious beliefs, practices, and experiences of 18th century New Englanders using rare primary sources. Darkness Falls on the Land of Light won several prestigious awards, including a Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy.