Bruce Lincoln

Caroline E. Haskell Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School; also in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Committee on Medieval Studies; Associate Faculty in the Departments of Anthropology and Classics




PhD (University of Chicago)

Bruce Lincoln emphasizes critical approaches to the study of religion. He is particularly interested in issues of discourse, practice, power, conflict, and the violent reconstruction of social borders. His research tends to focus on the religions of pre-Christian Europe and pre-Islamic Iran, but he has a notoriously short attention span and has also written on a bewildering variety of topics, including Guatemalan curanderismo, Lakota sun dances, Melanesian funerary rituals, Swazi kingship, the Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre, Marco Polo, professional wrestling, Persian imperialism, the theology of George W. Bush, and comparative demonology. His most recent publications include Gods and Demons, Priests and Scholars: Critical Explorations in the History of Religions (Chicago, 2012), "Happiness for Mankind": Achaemenian Religion and the Imperial Project (Louvain, 2012), and Comparer en histoire des religions antiques, coedited with Claude Calame (Liège, 2012); Between History and Myth: Stories of Harald Fairhair and the Founding of the State (2014) and Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification, 2nd Ed. (2014).




(773) 702-5083
Swift 301
Areas of study: 

Current and Upcoming Courses

Anthropology and Sociology of Religion

32900 Classic Theories of Religion
42904 Walter Benjamin

History of Religions

31710 Early Zoroastrianism
32900 Classic Theories of Religion
42904 Walter Benjamin
44607 The Ghost Dance of 1890
45200 Historiography for Historians of Religions
47001 Pahlavi Language and Literature

Islamic Studies

42904 Walter Benjamin