Sarah Barringer Gordon

[image of Prof. Gordon]
Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and Professor of History
Contact Information
Office Address: 
G-106, 3400 Chestnut St
Email Address:

Sally Gordon is a widely recognized scholar and commentator on religion in American public life and the law of church and state. She researches and teaches in American constitutional and legal history, religion and religious experience, and property.


Ph.D. (history), Princeton, 1995
M.A.R. (religion), Yale, 1987
J.D., Yale, 1986
B.A., Vassar, 1982

Research and Teaching Interests: 
  • Religion and the Law
  • American Legal History
  • Legal History
  • Property Law
Selected Publications: 

The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America (University of North Carolina Press 2002).

The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2010).

Convictions: Mormon Polygamy and Criminal Law Enforcement in Nineteenth-Century Utah (with Kathryn Daynes, co-author, University of Illinois Press) (forthcoming)

Work in Progress: 

The Sins of the Fathers: The Mountain Meadows Massacre in Religious History (with Jan Shipps).

The Place of Faith: Religion and Property in American History (book-length project on property ownership by religious organizations, including conflicts over disestablishment, schism, political entities, enterprise, bankruptcy, and more)