Associate Professor
Contact Areas of Interest
Ruth Marshall Departments for the Study of Religion & Political Science
170 St George Street, Room 300
Toronto, ON M5R 2M8
t: 416-978-0241
f: 416-978-1610
  • Religion, politics and public life
  • Secularism and democratic theory
  • Continental political philosophy
  • Continental philosophy of religion
  • Post-colonial theory, African Studies
  • Citizenship, state politics and violence in Nigeria & Cote d’Ivoire
  • Pentecostalism, radical reformist Islam and religious revival in the Global South


Ruth Marshall received her DPhil in Politics from Oxford University, and joined both the Department for the Study of Religion and Political Science in 2008, after having spent 8 years living and researching in West Africa. She is the author of Political Spiritualities: The Pentecostal Revolution in Nigeria (U. Chicago Press, 2009) and numerous scholarly articles on the study of the political implications of Pentecostalism and postcolonial politics in West Africa.  Her research and teaching are interdisciplinary, drawing on critical theory, political science, political philosophy, study of religion, anthropology, African and postcolonial studies. In 2013-14 she was a Faculty Fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute.

Curriculum Vitae

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Research Interests

I’m currently interested in the contemporary nexus between religion and politics and the challenge of clearing an analytical space in which the political productivity of religious discourse and practice may be recognized and analyzed non-reductively. I have two ongoing empirical research projects, one funded by a grant from the Social Science Research Council (NY, NY) that investigates prayer as a form of political praxis, and one funded by the SSHRC, studying the political implications of the evangelization of Europe and North America by Pentecostals from the Global South. I am working on a new book, Speaking in Tongues: Religion and the Call of the Political, that examines the renewed ethico-political force of religious language in the public sphere, and the political challenge that global revivalism poses to democratic forms of life. Critically reflecting on the problematic treatment of radical religious ‘otherness’ by contemporary political theory, I explore the possibilities and limits of a post-secular politics of translation for articulating a new relationship between the religious and the political.

Primary Teaching

  • JPR 419H – Secularism
  • JPR 2057/457H – Democracy and the Secular (Political Theologies)
  • JPR 364Y – Religion and Politics
  • JPR 374H –  Religion and Power in the Post-colony



Political Spiritualities: The Pentecostal Revolution in Nigeria. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Between Babel and Pentecost: Transnational Pentecostalism in Africa and Latin America. ed. with André Corten. Indianapolis: University of Indiana Press. 2001.

Selected Articles

‘Dealing with the Prince over Lagos’: Pentecostal Arts of Citizenship. Arts of Citizenship in the African City. Diouf, M. ed.  New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. 2014.

Christianity, Anthropology, Politics. Current Anthropology, Vol. 55, S9. 2014.

The Sovereignty of Miracles: Pentecostal Political Theology in Nigeria. Constellations 17(2): 2010: 197-223.

L’explosion des pentecôtismes. Esprit 333 March–April, 2007. 196-210.

The War of ‘Who is Who’: Autochthony, Nationalism and Citizenship in the Ivorian Crisis. African Studies Review, 49(2) 2007: 9-43.

La France en Côte d’Ivoire: l’interventionnisme à l’épreuve des faits. Politique Africaine 98, 2007 : 21-41.