Contributor Profile

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson, an associate professor of history at Wheaton College, is an urban historian who studies religion and race in U.S. history. Johnson teaches courses on methods for teaching social studies, race, and ethnicity in the United States; the civil rights movement; urban and suburban history; race, justice, and reconciliation in U.S. history; and modern American history. She also coordinates Wheaton College’s program for training undergraduate history and social science teachers and co-coordinates the Newberry Library’s Seminar on Religion in the Americas. Johnson’s first book, One in Christ: Chicago Catholics and the Quest for Interracial Justice (Oxford University Press, 2018), traces how Catholicism intersected with the long civil rights movement in Chicago. She has an essay in Christians and the Color Line: Race and Religion after Divided by Faith (Oxford University Press, 2013), and has published articles in Religion & American CultureAmerican Catholic StudiesFides et Historia, and Christian Scholars Review. Johnson is an editor and contributor to Understanding and Teaching Religion in U.S. History, forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press in 2021, as part of the award-winning Harvey Goldberg Series for Understanding and Teaching History. This book will help high school and college faculty incorporate religion into their surveys of American history, coupling content with teaching strategies. Johnson’s current book project explores moments of Christian interracialism across the United States between the 1930s and 1970s.