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Jenna Reinbold

Associate Professor of Religion
Religion, 318 Lawrence Hall
p 315-228-6466


  • BA Portland State University 1999
  • MA, PhD University of California, Santa Barbara 2003, 2007


  • Religion and law/politics in the U.S.
  • Religion and human rights
  • Secularism and secularity


Contemporary intersections of religion and politics; conservative religious engagements with modernity; the separation of church and state in the U.S.; religion and the "culture wars"; the role of religion and secularism in the creation and propagation of international human rights.


Seeing the Myth in Human Rights (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017)

Articles and Book Chapters

"The Secular Subject of Human Rights," forthcoming in The Subject of Human Rights (Stanford University Press)

"'Honorable Religious Premises' and Other Affronts: Disputing Free Exercise in the Era of Trump," forthcoming in Studies in Law, Politics, and Society

"Human Rights as a Narrative of Faith," in Religious Imaginations: How Narratives of Faith Are Shaping Today's World​ (London: Gingko Library, 2018)

"Traditional Marriage on Trial: The Supreme Court, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Fate of Secular Argumentation," Journal of Church and State 59.1 (Winter 2017): 81-101

"Sacred Institutions and Secular Law: The Faltering Voice of Religion in the Courtroom Debate Over Same-Sex Marriage," Journal of Church and State 56.2 (Spring 2014): 248-268

"Political Myth and the Sacred Center of Human Rights: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Narrative of 'Inherent Human Dignity,'" Human Rights Review 12.2 (May 2011): 147-171

"Radical Islam and Human Rights Values: A 'Religious-Minded' Critique of Secular Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood," Journal of the American Academy of Religion 78.2 (2010): 449-476

"Rogue Agents, Religion, and the Rule of Law: The Limits of Legalism in the Face of Technologies of Mass Destruction," Implicit Religion 2.1 (2009)

Public Scholarship

"Reassessing the narrative of universal human rights," guest scholar on Rear Vision, October 21, 2018.

"The Religious Left," guest scholar on Two Broads Talking Politics podcast, February 7, 2018.

"Seeing the myth in human rights," blog post on Open Democracy: Free Thinking for the World, March 29, 2017

“American Christians and the Trump Vote: What’s Law Got to Do with It?” blog post on UOPblog: Oxford University Press’s Academic Insights for the Thinking World, January 19, 2017

“Human Rights in the Era of Trump?” blog post on The Penn Press Log, January 4, 2017

“After Sandy: Presidential rhetoric and visions of solidarity,” forum post on The Immanent Frame, November 7, 2012

“The Ins and Outs of Experiencing India,” blog post on The Chronicle of Higher Education WorldWise, February 13, 2012

“The ‘Humanity’ of Radical Jihad,” ISIM Review 18 (Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World), October 2006: 14-15

Selected Courses

  • RELG 102: Religion and the Contemporary World
  • CORE 152: Challenges of Modernity
  • RELG 255: Church, State, and Law in America
  • RELG/NAST 320: Native Peoples and Modern Law
  • RELG/POSC 338: Sex, Law, and the American Culture Wars
  • RELG 342: Our Secular Age
  • RELG 352: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
  • RELG 355: Religion and Human Rights


Winner of the Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion: Analytical-Descriptive Studies from the American Academy of Religion (2018)

Member of the Public Fellows Program with PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute) (2018-19)

Member of the Syracuse University Central New York Religious Studies Consortium (2018-19)

Recipient of a New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium Faculty Fellows Working Group Grant, Mellon Foundation, “Religious Freedom and Human Rights in Pluralist Societies” (2014-18)