Gabriel Raeburn

Dean's Teaching FellowPhD, 2022


Gabriel Raeburn is a Senior Fellow in the Religious Studies department and a Dean's Fellow for Teaching Excellence. He works at the intersection of religion and politics, and the histories of race, inequality, and evangelicalism in the United States throughout the twentieth century.

His dissertation traces Pentecostal movement building and political activism in the United States from the depths of the Great Depression to the end of the Reagan era. It shifts focus away from the East and West coasts and towards Oklahoma, which served as a key space for the development of the Prosperity Gospel in the postwar period. 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 inequality. At the very moment that questions surrounding inequality and the welfare state became most contested, the Prosperity Gospel provided an alternative explanation for the persistence of racial and economic inequality. This not only shaped evangelical attitudes to capitalism and created coalitions between Pentecostals and conservative political actors but produced a cultural infrastructure for neoliberalism. 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 and leftwing historians in the American academy in the postwar period. He recently published an article on the historian Eugene Genovese and the radical journal Marxist Perspectives in Modern Intellectual History.




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)