Participant Info

First Name
Ronit Y.
Last Name
University of California, Berkeley
Website URL
U.S. religious history, religious freedom, chaplains, military, religious pluralism, religion and politics, religion and law, military and social change, bioethics, religious hospitals, pedagogy
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am an associate professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley, where I am also an affiliate of the religious diversity cluster of the Othering and Belonging Institute (OBI) and the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion (BCSR).

As a historian of modern America, my work addresses the relationship between religion and the American state, focusing on how law, policies, and institutions foster and hinder pluralism. My book, Enlisting Faith: How the Military Chaplaincy Shaped Religion and State in Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2017), traces the uneven processes through which the military struggled with, encouraged, and regulated religious pluralism over the twentieth century.

My current research focuses on the on the rise of institutional and corporate rights of conscience in health care through a history of religious hospitals and religious freedom in the United States.

Recent Publications

Enlisting Faith: How the Military Chaplaincy Shaped Religion and State in Modern America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017)

“Conscience,” in Religion, Law, U.S.A., edited by Joshua Dubler and Isaac Weiner (New York: New York University Press, forthcoming).

How Jewish Academia Created a #MeToo Disaster” (with Lila Corwin Berman and Kate Rosenblatt), The Forward, July 19, 2018.

Protecting Conscientious Providers of Health Care” (with Holly Fernandez Lynch), The New York Times, January 26, 2018.

The Battle Over Who Can Serve is a Battle Over Who We Are” (with Jennifer Mittelstadt), The Washington Post, July 28, 2017.

“Physicians, Not Conscripts: Conscientious Objection in Health Care” (with Ezekiel J. Emanuel), New England Journal of Medicine 376 (April 6, 2017): 1380-85.

“Dog Tags: Religious Toleration and the Politics of American Military Identification.” In The Lively Experiment: Religious Freedom and Toleration in American from Roger Williams to the Present, eds., Christopher Beneke and Christopher Grenda (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).

“A Jewish America and a Protestant Civil Religion: Will Herberg, Robert Bellah, and Religious Identity in Mid-Twentieth Century America.” Religions 6, no. 2 (2015): 434-450. Special Issue on Religion, Politics, and America’s Liberal-Conservative Divide Reconsidered.

Media Coverage
Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NPR, fivethirtyeight
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Government, Law, Military, Pedagogy, Politics, Religion, World War I, World War II