Gabriel Raeburn

Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Slavery Remembrance Program, Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery Initiative.PhD in Religious Studies and History, 2022


Gabriel Raeburn is the Senior Research Fellow on the Harvard Slavery Remembrance Program (HSRP) and a historian of American religion. He works at the intersection of religion and politics, and the histories of race, inequality, and evangelicalism in the United States. In 2022, Raeburn gained a PhD in Religious Studies and History in 2022, under the direction of Professor Anthea Butler. As the HSRP’s Senior Research Fellow, Raeburn works alongside a research team that uncovers the lives of people who were enslaved by Harvard’s leadership, faculty, and staff, and traces their living descendants.

His dissertation, which he is in the process of turning into a book manuscript, traces Pentecostal movement building and political activism in the Ozarks and Great Plains from the depths of the Great Depression to the end of the Reagan era. Raeburn shows that through the spread of the Prosperity Gospel, the rise of powerful Pentecostal television networks, and in their relationship to political actors and state institutions, Pentecostals shaped how evangelicals understood the causes of and solutions to racial and economic inequality. Raeburn’s research brings together political history, material culture, lived religion, and public policy to show how an array of state, religious, and private sector influences constructed the Prosperity Gospel and how it transformed modern American politics and culture.

Raeburn also works on a series of side projects that explore the history of radical historians in the American academy in the postwar period. He recently published an article on the historian of American slavery, Eugene Genovese, and the radical journal Marxist Perspectives in Modern Intellectual History. Raeburn is passionate about public history. Alongside his work at the HSRP, Raeburn has been a Tours and Public History Researcher for the Dialogue Institute at Temple University.

Prior to joining Harvard, Raeburn was a Dean’s Teaching Fellow for Excellence in the Religious Studies department at the University of Pennsylvania. He has a B.A. in American Studies and Politics from the University of Sussex, and M.St. in U.S. History from the University of Oxford.


2022                Ph.D., Religious Studies and History, University of Pennsylvania

2018                M.A., Religious Studies and History, University of Pennsylvania

2015                M.St., U.S. History, University of Oxford

2014                B.A. with honors, American Studies and Politics, University of Sussex

Research Interests

Religion and Politics

Religious Right


Prosperity and Healing

Wealth and Inequality

Research Areas
American Religions
Material and Visual Culture
Politics and Publics
Courses Taught

Fall 2022, RELS 3110: Religion & Politics in America (Instructor)

Fall 2022, RELS 790: The Religion of Anime (Teaching Assistant)  

Spring 2021, RELS110: American Jesus (Instructor)

Spring 2019, RELS137: Religion and the Global Future (Teaching Assistant)

Spring 2018, HIST001: Deciphering America (Teaching Assistant)

Fall 2017, HIST170: History of the American South (Teaching Assistant)

Fall 2016, RELS112: Religion from the Civil Right Movement to Black Lives Matter (Teaching Assistant)

Work in Progress

Dissertation Title: Preaching Prosperity: Pentecostals and the Transformation of American Evangelicalism, 1946 - 1988

Committee: Anthea Butler (advisor); Sarah Barringer Gordon; Brent Cebul; Kevin M. Kruse (Princeton)


American Academy of Religion

American Society of Church History

American Historical Association

Organization of American Historians 

CV (file)