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Stewart Davenport Faculty Profile

Stewart Davenport

Professor of History
Humanities/Teacher Education Division, Seaver College
CAC 210


  • PhD, Department of History, Yale University, 2001
  • BA, History, Princeton University, 1994, Summe Cum Laude



  • Sex and Sects: The Story of Mormon Polygamy, Shaker Celibacy, and Oneida Complex Marriage. Charlottesville: The University of Virginia Press, 2022.
  • "Friends of the Unrighteous Mammon:" Northern Christians and Market Capitalism 1815-1860. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008. 

Articles and Essays

  • Das Adam-Smith Problem and Faculty Psychology in the Antebellum North." History of Political Economy. Spring, 2008.
  • "Pro-capitalist Christendom: An Explanation And An Apology." Books & Culture: A Christian Review. Oct. 23, 2010. Review essay of Bethany Moreton's To Serve God and Wal-Mart and Jay W. Richards's Money, Greed, and God.
  • "Two Schools, One Thesis, Still No Clear Answer." Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 28-A (2010): 319-327. Review essay of Donald E. Frey's America's Economic Moralists
  • "Two Cheers for McCloskey."  Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 27-A (2009): 225-233. Review essay of Deidre N. McCloskey's The Burgeois Virtues
  • "The Faking of the United States." Reviews in American History 36 (2008): 349-356. Review essay of Stephen Mihm's A Nation of Counterfeiters
  • "Liberal America/Christian America: Another Conflict or Consensus?" Journal of the Early Republic 24, no. 2 (Summer 2004): 190-197.

Book Reviews

  • Review of Capital in the Nineteenth Century, by Robert E. Gallman and Paul W. Rhode. Journal of American History, forthcoming, June 2022.
  • Review of Brigham Young: Sovereign in America, by David Vaughn Mason, Communal Societies 35, no. 1 (2015): 109-112. 
  • Review of America's First Great Depression: Economic Crisis and Political Disorder after the Panic of 1837, by Alasdair Roberts, History: Review of New Books 41, no. 4 (2013): 129. 
  • Review of Paradoxes of Prosperity: Wealth-Seeking Versus Christian Values in Pre-Civil War America, by Lorman A. Ratner, Paula T. Kaufman and Dwight L. Teeter Jr.," Business History Review 84, no. 3 (Autumn 2010): 592-595.
  • Review of American Creed: Philanthropy and the Rise of Civil Society, 1700-1865, by Kathleen D. McCarthy, Journal of Markets and Morality 7, no. 1 (2004): 162-165.

Conference Presentations

  • “Liminality Ueber-alles or Liminality Particulares? The Uses and Limitations of Victor Turner’s Theory of Liminality for Understanding Mormon Nauvoo, 1839-1846.” Communal Studies Association Conference, Bishop Hill, IL, October, 2018.

  • "Latter-day Judas: The Effects of John C. Bennett's Betrayal on Joseph Smith and Mormon Polygamy." Communal Studies Association Conference, Zoar, Ohio, Oct. 2017.

  • "Millenarian Revivals in Comparative Perspective: The Mormon Reformation and the Shaker Era of Manifestations." Communal Studies Association Conference, "Anticipating the End Times," Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 2016.

  • "American Sex and Sects: Comparing Mormon Polygamy, Shaker Celibacy, and Oneida Complex Marriage." Oxford Symposium on Religious Studies, University Church of St. Mary, Oxford University, August 2016.

  • "Are American Religious Historians Cynical about American Religious Life?" Historiographical Heresy: A Conference on the Legacy of Jon Butler, Yale University, April 6, 2013.

  • "In Dow We Trust?" Panel discussion on the Mortgage and Credit Crisis from a Christian Perspective, 2009 Annual Conference on Christian Legal Thought, San Diego, CA, January 2009.

  • "Protestant Appropriations of John Locke and Adam Smith in the Antebellum North." HOPE [History of Political Economy] conference, Keeping Faith: Religious Belief and Political Economy, Duke University, April 2007.

  • "Whither the Early Republic: A Roundtable Prognostication." Panel discussion on early American history. 26th Annual Meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, Brown University, July 2004.

  • "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: Making Political Economy Safe for the Christian Republic." Conference on Christianity and Economics: Integrating Faith and Learning in Economic Scholarship, Baylor University, Nov. 2002.

Public Lectures

  • “The Americanization of Europe and the Europeanization of America: Atlantic Warfare after 1739,” Society of Colonial Wars in the State of California, the Valley Hunt Club, Pasadena, CA, September 2021. 

  • Interviewed on "The Melanated Muckraker," student podcast on race at Pepperdine, October 21, 2020.

  • “Remembering the Civil War.” Los Angeles Civil War Round Table, January 2020.

  • “Bacon’s Rebellion and Colonial Virginia,” Society of Colonial Wars in the State of California, the Valley Hunt Club, Pasadena, CA, June 2019.

  • “The Civil War,” Hound Tall Podcast with comedian Moshe Kasher, December 2018.

  • “What Caused the Civil War.” Los Angeles Civil War Round Table, January 2018

  • “Pilgrims and Puritans: Their Successes and Failures, 1600-1660,” Mayflower Society of Orange County, November 2017.

  • Seminar on Confederate Memorials, Los Angeles Civil War Round Table, January.” September 2017.

  • “Abolition and Slavery" (continued), Los Angeles Civil War Round Table, September 2016.

  • “Tobacco in Colonial Virginia: From Boom to Bacon’s Rebellion,” First California Company, Jamestowne Society, Knott’s Berry Farm, Los Angeles, November 2016,

  • “Abolition and Slavery, 1800-1865,” Los Angeles Civil War Round Table, January 2016.

  • "Could the Civil War Have Been Averted", Los Angeles Civil War Round Table, January 2013.

  • "California and Kansas, Republicans and Civil War." Los Angeles Civil War Round Table, September 2012.
  • "Oral Tradition and the Slave Trade." Black History Month lecture, Payson Library, Pepperdine University, February 2012.
  • "Slavery: The Not-So-Peculiar Institution." Los Angeles Civil War Round Table, September 2011.
  • "Tyler and Texas, Mexico and Manifest Destiny." Los Angeles Civil War Round Table, June 2011.
  • "Sex and Marriage in American Utopian Communities, 1790-1890." Humanities and Teacher Education Symposium, Pepperdine University, January 2011.
  • "The Origins of New World Racial Slavery." Black History Month lecture, Payson Library, Pepperdine University, February 2010.


  • American Intellectual History
  • American Narrative History, 1453-1877
  • American Religious History
  • Sex and Marriage in U.S. History
  • Religion and Capitalism


  • HIST 204 - History of the American Peoples, 1492 to the Present
  • HIST 420 - Colonial America, 1453-1763
  • HIST 521 - American Revolution and New Nation, 1763-1815
  • HIST 422 - Jacksonian America and Civil War, 1815-1877
  • HIST 426 - California History
  • HIST 438/REL 538 - The History of Religion in America
  • GSHU 199- First-Year Seminar on Faith and Reason
  • HIST 200 - Introduction to Research
  • HIST 481-482 - Senior Seminar I & II