Kathleen Flake

Kathleen Flake

Richard Lyman Bushman Professor of Mormon Studies


Ph.D., University of Chicago
M.A., Catholic University of America
J.D., University of Utah
B.A., Birgham Young University


American Religious History, Religious Studies, American Legal History


Mormonism and American Culture
Church-State Conflict
American Religious Innovation
Modern American Marriage in Historical Context
Religious Liberty in Historical and Theological Perspective
​America’s Bibles

Professor Flake’s research focuses on the adaptive strategies of 19th and 20th century American religious communities and the affect of pluralism on religious identity, as well as the constructive function of text and ritual in maintaining and adapting the religious identity. In the area of American Legal History, she studies the influence of American law on American religion and the theological tensions inherent in the First Amendment religious clauses. Her current project is “Mormon Matriarchy, a Study of Gendered Power in Antebellum America.” Prior to her appointment at Virginia, she taught at Vanderbilt University in both the Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion. Before becoming an academic, she litigated cases on behalf of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Washington, D.C.

Kathleen Flake