Leslie Dorrough Smith, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Religious Studies; Chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department. Phone 816-501-3684

Dr. Leslie Dorrough Smith specializes in the study of American evangelicalism and gender, race, and politics. Her most recent publication is Compromising Positions: Sex Scandals, Politics, and American Christianity (Oxford 2020), which examines the racial and gendered dynamics of American Christianity that influence the shape of the American political system. She is the author or author/editor of three additional books as well as numerous articles and book chapters. Presently, she is at work on a fifth book (with Dr. Steven Ramey, University of Alabama) about the politics behind the study of the world’s religions. Dr. Smith is a frequent speaker for both local and national organizations and events.

Religion and Pop Culture (RS 111), World Religions (RS 117), Religion and Gender (RS 202), Religion and U.S. Politics (RS 203), Images and Realities of Gender (IS 310), Feminist Theory and Practice (PL 326), Being Together: Gender, Race, and Class in Global Context (IS 372), Religion and Economics (IS 302), Christianity in Film (IS 368)
B.A., Missouri State University
M.A., Missouri State University
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara



2020 (author) Compromising Positions: Sex Scandals, Politics, and American Christianity. New York: Oxford University Press.

2020 (co-edited with Steffen Führding and Adrian Hermann). Hijacked: Examining the Rhetoric of Good and Bad Religion. Sheffield: Equinox.

2019 (editor) Constructing “Data” in Religious Studies: Examining the Architecture of the Academy. Sheffield: Equinox.

2014 (author) Righteous Rhetoric: Sex, Speech, and the Politics of Concerned Women for America. New York: Oxford University Press.

Forthcoming book (with Prof. Steven Ramey). A Critical Approach to the World’s Religions. Sheffield: Equinox

I have also authored numerous articles, chapters, and blogposts having to do with religion, gender, and popular culture.


Professor of the Year, 2020

Distinguished Scholar Award, 2020

Medal of Honor, 2018

Go back to the top