Dr. Jon Pahl
Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Professor in the History of Christianity; Director, MA Programs
Phone: Cell: 610.909.7107
Education: BA, Valparaiso University (History, Religion, Christ College), 1980; MTS, Trinity Lutheran Seminary (History, Theology, Society), 1983; PhD, The University of Chicago Divinity School (The History of Christianity, 1990)
Jon Pahl, PhD, is Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Professor in the History of Christianity and Director of MA Programs at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Prof. Pahl was conferred the Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Endowed Chair in the History of Christianity in a ceremony on November 27, 2012. He has also served as Visiting Professor of Religion at Temple University, in Philadelphia, and as Visiting Professor of Religion at Princeton University.
Dr. Pahl has published dozens of articles, essays, columns, and reviews; has appeared on media outlets from the BBC to ABC, and is author or editor of six books, most recently Shopping Malls and Other Sacred Spaces: Putting God in Place (Wipf and Stock), and Empire of Sacrifice: The Religious Origins of American Violence (NYU). All of his books are on amazon.com.
Dr. Pahl also appeared, along with his son, Justin, in the feature documentary film Malls R Us. Watch the Malls R Us trailer.
Jon teaches classes at LTSP in American Religious History, Lutherans in America, Religion and Violence, Religion and Film, and many others, along with his guest teaching at Temple or Princeton.
As Director of MA Programs, Dr. Pahl oversees the academic work of students interested in a Master of Arts degree. He has been instrumental in developing a new specialization in “public leadership,” bridging theological education with secular professions, especially social work or business.
Jon has enjoyed speaking with congregations and audiences from Ankara, Turkey to Anaheim, California. He has lectured at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Princeton and Purdue, and many others venues from Singapore to Kampala to Jakarata to Sydney.
As a social justice activist, Dr. Pahl founded the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity at Valparaiso University, and served on the Board of Directors at Lutheran Settlement House in Philadelphia. Jon is also avidly engaged in interreligious dialogue, especially in Christian-Muslim and Christian-Vaishnava dialogues.
Download a publication quality photo of Prof. Pahl
Jon is a sports fan and amateur musician who sits in on the saxophone with gospel choirs and blues bands, and helped form a Seminary jazz, r and b, and rock band, The Groove Daemons. Watch a clip: Jammin with The Groove Daemons.
Jon lives in Philadelphia with his wife of thirty years, Lisa, who is a clinical consultant with Philips Healthcare. They have three grown children.