People Archive

LAPA Fellow

Sarah Barringer Gordon

Former Fellow, 2002-2003
University of Pennsylvania Law School

University of Pennsylvania Law School, 3400 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19103
phone: 215-898-3069; fax: 215-573-2025

While at LAPA
Sarah Barringer Gordon is a legal historian who specializes in the history of religion in America. She is a professor of law and history at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches property, religious history, and courses on church and state. She has published work on blasphemy, women's suffrage, law and literature, and is the author of The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth Century America (University of North Carolina Press, 2002). Gordon holds a bachelor's degree from Vassar College, a J.D. and a Masters in Divinity from Yale, and a Ph.D. in history from Princeton. While at Princeton, she will begin work on a new book project, investigating the litigation practices of religious organizations in the twentieth century, and their important role in the tectonic shift in the understanding of what it means to exercise freedom and bear rights. She also will teach a course: "Resurgence and Rebirth: American Religion and Legal Change in the Twentieth Century."

Life after LAPA: 

Sally Gordon is now Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania.  She spent the 2004-05 academic year at University College (London). She recently published The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2010), which began life as a proposal attached to her application for the LAPA fellowship.  She is the co-editor of Studies in Legal History, the American Society for Legal History's book series.  She is also on the boards of the Cromwell Foundation, the Barbara McDowell and Jerry Hartman Foundation, and Vassar College (1998-2010), and serves as the chair of the ASLH Finance Committee.