Kate Bowler is the author of Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel. She teaches North American Christianity at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. As the child of two professors that was probably a foregone conclusion, but she stubbornly persists in her belief in free will. She grew up in the Canadian prairie city of Winnipeg with an unhealthy interest in religion and popular culture. By the time she had finished her Master’s degree, she was already devoted to her first book project studying the American prosperity gospel. She spent a decade traveling the United States and Canada visiting megachurches, archives, television studios, revivals and Christian theme parks interviewing leaders and followers of the prosperity gospel.
Her second book, tentatively called Co-Pastor: Women and Power in American Megaministry, tells the modern history of celebrity wives. In a culture divided about whether women should Lean In or opt out, Christian women reach for spiritual stardom and many have succeeded in re-making popular religion into a woman’s playground. She recently received a Louisville sabbatical fellowship and a travel grant from the American Academy of Religion to research, write and drink coffee in 2016-2017.
She loves the deep humor and great joys of the Christian faith, and can always be found browsing the shelves of the bookstore at a local megachurch or trying to teach her toddler Canadian pronunciation.