Jenny Wiley Legath

Jenny Wiley Legath is a scholar of religion, with special interests in the history of American women and Christianity. She is Associate Director of the Center for Culture, Society and Religion at Princeton University and served as Acting Director in 2019-2020. She is a Lecturer in the Department of Religion. Legath received her doctorate from Princeton University, her Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and her bachelor’s degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three sons, and two dogs.


Originalism, the Supreme Court, Gun Laws and History

On June 23, 2022, the United States Supreme Court, in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen rendered one of the most significant decisions ever to be issued on the Second Amendment. The impact of the Bruen decision is already being felt in major changes to gun regulations and increased legal challenges to existing gun…

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
Women's Concealed Carry of Firearms as Ritual Practice
Analyzing women’s concealed carrying of firearms as religious ritual reveals a world-making project that idealizes armed personal protection as a learned embodied religious practice. Whether or not they use religious language to describe it, these women promote gun carry as a spiritual practice, one that they see as aligned with evangelical…
American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting
This House Protected by the Good Lord and a Gun: Remarks on the Recent History of Guns and Religion in the U.S.

Abstract: My presentation will address religion and armed self-defense in the United States through an examination of the historical emergence of religiously inflected gun cultures.

On Dec. 29, 2019, a man with a gun killed two people during a Sunday morning service at the West Freeway Church of Christ before…

Center for the Study of Guns and Society, Wesleyan University


Jenny Wiley Legath
Associate Director
Center for Culture, Society and Religion
Green Hall, Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544
jlegath AT princeton DOT edu