photo of Constance Furey

Just published!

Photo of Poetic Relations

Poetic Relations, University of Chicago Press, 2017

Poetic Relations: Intimacy and Faith in the English Reformation has been chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice, the review magazine from the ALA

Read my recent article "Erring Together: Renaissance Humanists in Certainty’s Shadow"

See my presentation at the University of Chicago's Craft of Teaching seminar

Read my two recent essays, "Devout death," and "Where I’m going," in The Immanent Frame.

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Listen to my interview on WFHB Interchange

Find my complete cv here.

Constance Furey

Professor, Department of Religious Studies

Sycamore Hall, Rm. 226
Sycamore Hall, Rm. 2268 (Chair's office)


Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2000

B.A., Brown University, 1991.

Research Interests

Professional Biography

I am a scholar of Renaissance and Reformation Christianity, interested especially in the emergence of new types of religious and intellectual communities and theoretical questions of relationality and intersubjectivity. I wrote on religious humanism in my first book, Erasmus, Contarini, and the Religious Republic of Letters(Cambridge, 2006), and have published several articles and essays on the intertwining of friendship and utopian thought in early modern England. My current book project, Poetic Relations: Intimacy and Faith in the English Reformation, focuses on how devotional poetry by both male and female writers in the English Renaissance re-imagined intimate relationships as sites of utopian longing and fulfillment.

In this, as in my other research projects, I am interested in thinking about how religiously-motivated ideals and assumptions should be understood in relation to a whole host of social developments, ranging from the advent of print and new kinds of literary authority to the celebration of friendship, changing conceptions of marriage and patronage, and shifting assumptions about gender.

My interest in theory as well as historical analysis is reflected also in the courses I teach, which include not only surveys and thematic courses about Christianity, with a primary focus on the West, but also undergraduate and graduate courses on anthropological, sociological, and philosophical approaches to the study of religion. I am also involved in developing a new Initiative for the Humanistic Study of Innovation, a project close to my heart not only because of my interest in utopia but also because of the pressing need to demonstrate the value of the humanities--including the study of cultural phenomena from distant times as well as places--to the ongoing project of creating a better world today.


Courses Recently Taught

Publication Highlights


Poetic Relations: Intimacy and Faith in the English Reformation (University of Chicago Press, May 2017)

Erasmus, Contarini, and the Religious Republic of Letters (Cambridge University Press, September 2005)

Selected Articles

"Devout death." The Immanent Frame (30 November 2017).

"Where I’m going." The Immanent Frame (13 November 2017).

" John Winthrop’s ‘Model of Christian Charity.’ “Theologies of American Exceptionalism” forum. The Immanent Frame (13 February 2017).

" Calvin’s Questions: A Response to Jonathan Sheehan.” 21 September 2016. The Immanent Frame (21 September 2016).

"Erring Together: Renaissance Humanists in Certainty’s Shadow," The Journal of Religion Vol. 95, No. 4 (October 2015), pp. 454-476.

"Discernment as Critique in Teresa of Avila and Erasmus of Rotterdam," Exemplaria. 26.2-3 (2014), 254-272.

"Besides." The Immanent Frame (15 March 2012).

"Intimate Virtue: Puritan Marriage and Devotional Poetry." The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 42.1 (2012).

"Body, Society, and Subjectivity in Religious Studies," Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 80.1 (2012).

“Utopian History” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 20.4 (2008), 385-398.

“The Selfe Undone: Individualism and Relationality in John Donne and Aemilia Lanyer” Harvard Theological Review, 99.4 (Fall 2006), 469-86.

"Invective and Discernment in Luther, Erasmus, and More" Harvard Theological Review, (October 2005), 469-88.


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