Polly Ha

Associate Professor of the History of Christianity


0044A Langford


  • B.A. (Yale University)
  • Ph.D. (University of Cambridge) 

Dr. Ha’s work focuses on the history of Christianity and the construction of diverse confessional and ecclesiastical traditions in the Reformation and post-Reformation world. She specializes in reception studies of the Reformation, ecclesiastical thought, historical method, political theology, and the wider impact of reformation on men and women across the social order. She has published numerous articles on reformation reception and co-edited a volume with Patrick Collinson on The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain (Oxford University Press, 2011). Her monograph English Presbyterianism, 1590-1640 (Stanford University Press, 2011) challenged traditional assumptions about the development of reformed polity in pre-civil war England and the nature of popular participation in reformed communities by analyzing English exiles in the Netherlands and New England. Dr. Ha’s work also addresses the political and social research of ecclesiastical independence in the English Revolution, its expansion of classical notions of liberty, and implications for the freedom of speech, association, consent, and conscience. She is chief editor of The Puritans on Independence (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Reformed Government (Oxford University Press, 2021), which include debates over conciliarism, historical contingency, and institutional mutability in response to Richard Hooker’s Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. She is currently working on the longer-term impact of reformation, reconfigurations of the relationship between religion and politics, and broader intellectual change and social innovation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 

News and Stories

Polly Ha and Brent Strawn Named McDonald Distinguished Senior Fellows

Two Duke Divinity School faculty members have been named to the prestigious program to promote leading research in the area of law and religion. Read more on the Emory University website.

Polly Ha Wins Duke Faculty Advancement Seed Grant

Professor Ha wins a grant to study the Hybrid M.Div. program with a wider historical context through seminars and discussions.

Excavating Texts and Expanding Theological Borders

New Duke Divinity faculty highlight diverse voices and perspectives.

Recent Publications on Scholars@Duke

Recent Courses on Scholars@Duke