Edith Blumhofer, historian of American religion, dies at 69

March 23, 2020
(Photo courtesy of Wheaton College)

Edith Blumhofer, a renowned scholar of religious history in the United States, died of pancreatic cancer on March 5. She was 69.

Blumhofer, who taught at Wheaton College for nearly 30 years, was known for studying subsets of evangelicalism that other scholars did not take seriously, namely, Pentecostals and charismatics. She wrote numerous books on the topic, and in 2006, she wrote a cover story for the Century about the Azusa Street Revival.

In addition to teaching at Wheaton, Blumhofer also headed the college’s Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, where she continued—as historian Thomas Kidd put it in a tribute—to broaden the American evangelical mind.

“Edith Blumhofer is rightly considered among the greatest historians of her generation,” said Wheaton College presi­dent Philip Ryken in an online post. “Wheaton College benefited greatly from her erudition, lively teaching, intellectual rigor, and pioneering leadership.” —Christian Century staff