Constance Furey

Constance Furey

Professor, Religious Studies


  • Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2000

About Constance Furey

My research explores the powerful, complicated, obvious and not so obvious ways that the modern world has been influenced by European Christianity from the time of the Renaissance and Reformation. I study Catholics as well as Protestants, ideas as well as practices, theology as well as history, and literary as well as theological texts, all with an eye to understanding the creative and diverse ways that imagined relationships shape the way people understand themselves, their world, and the possibilities for transformation. I have written articles on topics ranging from insult and error to friendship and marriage, as well as many online public-facing online essays. My first book was about the spiritualization of scholarly communities in sixteenth century Catholicism (Erasmus, Contarini, and the Religious Republic of Letters [Cambridge, 2006]). The second book, Poetic Relations: Faith and Intimacy in the English Reformation (Chicago 2017), demonstrates how poetry became a primary site for confirming and amending intimate social relationships. Most recently I co-authored Devotion: Three Inquiries in Religion, Literature, and Political Theology (a TRIOS book for the University of Chicago Press), which reconceives religion and literature.

Teaching is for me as important as research, and I am especially gratified to be the recipient of the James P. Holland award for Exemplary Teaching and Service to Students. My grants include a fellowship from Harvard University’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program. A former Director of the Renaissance Studies Program at IU, I was also involved in the creation of the Eighteenth Century Studies Center and the Center of Theoretical Inquiry, and a Humanistic Study of Innovation initiative. I am co-PI of “Being Human” and co-founder of the Center for Religion and the Human, funded by a $1M grant from Luce Foundation and additional support from The College of Arts and Sciences and VPFAA at IUB, as well as director of the Teaching Religion in Public initiative and Being Human Institute for Emerging Scholars.



Three Inquiries in Religion, Literature, and Political Imagination

Edited by Sarah Hammerschlag, Amy Hollywood, Constance Furey

Religious Intimacies
Religious Intimacies

Intersubjectivity in the Modern Christian West

Edited by Mary Dunn and Brenna Moore, Constance Furey

Garb of Being: Embodiment and the Pursuit of Holiness in Late Ancient Christianity
Garb of Being: Embodiment and the Pursuit of Holiness in Late Ancient Christianity

Embodiment and the Pursuit of Holiness in Late Ancient Christianity

Georgia Frank, Susan Holman, Andrew Jacobs, Constance Furey

Poetic Relations
Poetic Relations

Intimacy and Faith in the English Reformation

Constance Furey

Journal articles & other publications

"Devout death." The Immanent Frame (30 November 2017).

"Where I’m going." The Immanent Frame (13 November 2017).

"John Winthrop’s ‘Model of Christian Charity.’ “Theologies of American Exceptionalism” forum. The Immanent Frame (13 February 2017).

"Calvin’s Questions: A Response to Jonathan Sheehan.” 21 September 2016. The Immanent Frame (21 September 2016).

Recent courses

  • Sexuality and Gender in the Reformation
  • Christianity 400–1500
  • Christianity 1500-present
  • Catholic Controversies: From Trent to the Present
  • The Reformation: Body and Word
  • Religion and Literature
  • Religion and Modernity: The Quest for Certainty
  • Catholic Controversies
  • Interpretations of Religion
  • Original Sin: Religion, Psychology & Behavior

Awards & Honors

  • James P. Holland Award for Exemplary Teaching and Service to Students, 2014
  • Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award 2004, 2009
  • College Arts and Humanities Institute Fellowship, 2009
  • Harvard University Women's Studies in Religion Program, Research Associate, 2005-2006
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Stipend, Summer 2002
  • Indiana University Summer Faculty Fellowships