Timothy Samuel Shah

Senior Director, Religious Freedom Institute
Washington, D.C.

Timothy Samuel Shah is research professor of Government at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion; director for International Research at the Religious Freedom Research Project at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs; and Senior Director of the South and Southeast Asia Action Team with the Religious Freedom Institute, a new non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. He is a political scientist specializing in religious freedom as well as in the broad relationship between religious and political dynamics in theory, history, and contemporary practice.

He is author of Even if There is No God: Hugo Grotius and the Secular Foundations of Modern Political Liberalism (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2018) and, with Monica Duffy Toft and Daniel Philpott, of God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (W.W. Norton and Company, 2011). He is also editor of numerous volumes, including, with Allen Hertzke, Christianity and Freedom: Historical Perspectives and Christianity and Freedom: Contemporary Perspectives (both with Cambridge University Press, 2016); with Thomas Farr and Jack Friedman, Religious Freedom and Gay Rights (Oxford University Press, 2016); and with Alfred Stepan and Monica Duffy Toft, Rethinking Religion and World Affairs (Oxford University Press, 2012). Shah’s volume co-edited with Jack Friedman, Homo Religiosus?: Exploring the Roots of Religion and Religious Freedom in Human Experience, is forthcoming in 2018 with Cambridge University Press. His articles on religion, religious freedom, and global politics, in history and in the contemporary world, have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Journal of Law and Religion, the Journal of Democracy, the Review of Politics, Fides et Historia, and elsewhere.

Shah received his A.B. magna cum laude with Highest Honors in Government in 1992 and a Ph.D. in Political Science in 2002, both from Harvard University. His doctoral dissertation in political theory won the 2003 American Political Science Association’s Award for Best Dissertation on Religion and Politics. In 2009, he was awarded one of the first Joseph R. Crapa Fellowships with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

He resides in Rockville, Maryland, with his wife Rebecca Samuel Shah, a specialist in religion and economic development and a research professor with Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, and their five children.