Leah Payne (she/hers) is an associate professor of American religious history at Portland Seminary in Oregon.

Payne’s research explores the ascent of Charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity in the American religious and political landscape. Her first book, Gender and Pentecostal Revivalism: Making a Female Ministry in the Early Twentieth Century(Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), won the Pneuma: the Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 2016 Book Award. Her forthcoming book, The Rise and Fall of Contemporary Christian Music, (Oxford University Press, 2023), shows how Charismatics and Pentecostals shaped the political and theological imaginary of white American evangelicalism through popular music.

Payne’s analysis of American Charismatics and Pentecostals has appeared in The Washington Post, NBC News, Religion News Service, and Christianity Today, and she is cited as an expert on Pentecostals, Charismatics, and American politics in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, La Presse, Religion & Politics, and in Christianity Today. Payne contributes to podcasts like Saved by the City from Religion News Service, Christianity Today’s Quick to Listen, Straight White American Jesus, and Things Not Seen Radio to explain the influence of Pentecostals and Charismatics on American public life.

Payne is also co-creator and co-host of Weird Religion, an award-winning religion and pop culture podcast.

Research Area: Religious, Racial, and Ethnic Pluralism  

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