AboutI am a scholar of religious history with a particular interest in the intersected histories of Christian missions, European imperialism, and the growth of Christianities in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries. I am intrigued by the religious and cultural exchanges between European missionaries and those who converted, with a focus upon the agency of African peoples.
My first book, Living Salvation in the East African Revival in Uganda, which is forthcoming with the University of Rochester Press, is a history of the East African (Balokole) Revival in Uganda from the early 1930s to the early 1960s. While the revival was a conversionary movement that proclaimed a Christian message of salvation, this project examines the ways in which salvation was not simply a personal, eternal aspiration for the Balokole, but rather a comprehensive way of life. This book will illuminate the many ways in which the revival created a new lifestyle for those who converted through its message, which had profound impacts upon revivalists’ understanding of themselves and how they ought to relate to their families, communities, societies, and nations.
EducationPrinceton Theological Seminary, PhD (2013)
Weston Jesuit School of Theology, MTS (2008)
Gardner-Webb University, BA (2005)
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles (selected)
- Jason Bruner, Living Salvation in the East African Revival. Studies in African History and the Diaspora Series. University of Rochester Press, 2017.
- “‘What is a European hospital but a pagan shrine?’ Missionaries, Progress, and the Problem of Materiality in Colonial Uganda.” Material Religion (forthcoming, 2018).
- “Religion, Medicine, and Global Health in Uganda: Reflecting Critically on an Afternoon at Mulago Hospital.” Fieldwork in Religion 12:1 (2017).
- Jason Bruner, Volker Benkert, Marcie Hutchinson, Lauren Harris, and Erik Lundin. “Developing a Comparative Genocide Method.” World History Connected 14:2 (2017).
- Lauren Harris, Volker Benkert, Jason Bruner, Marcie Hutchinson, and Erik Lundin. “Learning and Researching Genocide Comparatively.” World History Connected 14:2 (2017); supplement to article listed above.
- Jason Bruner. “Contesting Confession in the East African Revival.” Anglican and Episcopal History 84:3 (2015), 253-278.
- Jason Bruner. “‘The testimony must begin in the home’: The Life of Salvation and the Remaking of Homes in the East African Revival in Southern Uganda, c. 1930-1955.” Journal of Religion in Africa 44:3-4 (2015), 309-332.
- Jason Bruner. “The Cambridge Seven, Late Victorian Culture, and the Chinese Frontier.” Social Science and Missions, Special Issue: “Beyond Borders: ‘China’ in Missions” 27:1 (2014), 7-30.
- Jason Bruner. “Public Confession and the Moral Universe of the East African Revival.” Studies in World Christianity 18:3 (2012): 254-268.
- Jason Bruner. “Keswick and the East African Revival: A Historiographical Reappraisal.” Religion Compass 5:9 (2011): 1-13.
- Jason Bruner. “Imperialism in Africa and the Question of Genocide.” In Terrortimes, Terrorscapes? Temporal, Spatial and Memory Continuities of War and Genocide in 20th Century Europe, Volker Benkert and Michael Mayer, eds. (forthcoming).
- Jason Bruner. “British Missions and Missionaries in the High Imperial Era, ca. 1857-1914.” In The Routledge History of Western Empires, Robert Aldrich and Kirsten McKenzie, eds. (Routledge, 2013), 425-438.
Encyclopedia and Reference Articles
- Jason Bruner. “Fishers of Men and Hunters of Lion: British Missionaries and Big Game Hunting in Colonial Africa.” In A Cultural History of Firearms in the Age of Empire, Karen Jones, Giacomo Macola, and David Welch, eds. (Ashgate, 2013), 57-72.
Book Reviews (selected)
- Jason Bruner. “Uganda” and “Missions and Anthropology.” In Encyclopedia of Christianity in the Global South, George Thomas Kurien and Mark Lamport, ed. New York: Rowman and Littlefield (forthcoming).
- Review of Derek Cooper, Introduction to World Christian History (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2016) in Anglican and Episcopal History (forthcoming).
- Jason Bruner. The Historian 78:1 (2016): Derek Peterson, Ethnic Patriotism and the East African Revival: A History of Dissent, c. 1935-1972.
- Jason Bruner. Anglican and Episcopal History 83:3 (2014): Michael A. Rutz. The British Zion: Congregationalism, Politics, and Empire, 1790-1850. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2011.
Digital Publications and Short Essays (selected)
- Jason Bruner. Itinerario: International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction 36:3 (2012): T. Jack Thompson. Light on Darkness? Missionary Photography of Africa in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 2011.
- Jason Bruner. African Studies Quarterly 12:4 (2011): Neil Kodesh. Beyond the Royal Gaze: Clanship and Public Healing in Buganda. Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 2010.
- Jason Bruner. “Whose God was Slain? Anthropology and the Diversity of World Christianity. A Review of The Slain God by Timothy Larsen.” Marginalia Review of Books. March 15, 2016.
- Jason Bruner. “Testimony and the History of the East African Revival” Marginalia Review of Books. January 28, 2015.
- Jason Bruner and Ryan Linde. “Eusebius and the Global War on Christians.” Sacred Matters. June 2014.
- Jason Bruner. “Uganda’s President Will Sign Anti-Gay Bill. How Did the Nation Get to this Point?” Religion & Politics. February 18, 2014.
Creative Nonfiction Writing
- “Eavesdropping in Arizona.” River Teeth, August 14, 2017.
- “This Place Is An Altar.” Good Letters, Image Journal, April 25, 2017.
Is there a “global war on Christians”? History, evidence, and analysis
Religion and global health in Uganda
Upcoming Talks and ConferencesWork in Progress
- “Conversion and the Problem of Discontinuity in the East African Revival,” journal article under review.
- “Conversion Hysteria: Psychiatry and the Forensics of Religious Experience in Colonial East Africa,” journal article in preparation.
- “Belief as a Problem in the Anthropology of Religion,” multi-authored journal article in preparation.
- “Developing Curriculum for the Comparative Study of Genocide,” multi-authored journal article in preparation.
MembershipsAmerican Society of Church History
American Historical Association