Sarah Shortall

Sarah Shortall


Assistant Professor


Modern Europe; Modern France; Intellectual History; Religion; Cultural History


Ph.D., Harvard University
A.M., Harvard University
B.A. (Honours), Queen's University (Canada)

Research and Teaching Interests

Sarah Shortall is an intellectual and cultural historian of modern Europe, with a particular interest in modern France, Catholic thought, and the relationship between religion and politics.  She teaches courses on modern French and European history, the history of Catholicism, and European intellectual history.  In addition to these themes, her research also explores the history of science, secularization theory, human rights, medievalism, and the global circulation of religious ideas.


Shortall's current book project, Soldiers of God in a Secular World: The Politics of Catholic Theology in Twentieth-Century France, examines the impact of Catholic theology on French politics after the separation of Church and state in 1905.  It shows how the continuing role of theology in an ostensibly secular public sphere disrupts prevailing ideas about the nature and scope of the political in the modern world.  In addition to this project, she is co-editing a volume of essays on Christianity and Human Rights, to be published by Cambridge University Press.  Her articles and essays have appeared in Past & Present, Modern Intellectual History, and at The Immanent Frame.  Prior to joining the faculty at Notre Dame, Shortall was a Junior Research Fellow at Oxford University.

Contact Information

Office: 442 Decio Faculty Hall
Phone: 574-631-5874


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