Jane Shaw

Visiting Fellow

Dean for Religious Life, Stanford University


Jane Shaw is the Dean for Religious Life at Stanford. Her duties at Stanford include providing spiritual and ethical leadership for the university as a whole, serving as the Minister of Memorial Church, and encouraging a wide spectrum of religious traditions on campus. As Professor of Religious Studies, she teaches the History of Christianity in the Department of Religious Studies.

Professor Shaw previously taught history and theology at the University of Oxford for sixteen years (1994 – 2010), and was Dean of Divinity and Fellow of New College, Oxford. She also served as Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion. During her time at Oxford, she held a number of other appointments: as honorary canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford; Canon Theologian of Salisbury Cathedral; and theological consultant to the Church of England House of Bishops.

From 2010 to 2014, she was Dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, where she oversaw a period of growth in all areas. There she founded an artist in residence program, with Anna Deavere Smith as the inaugural artist in residence, and also hosted the Forum, interviewing a wide range of guests – from composer John Adams to actress Jane Lynch to environmentalist Tom Steyer.

Professor Shaw has a B.A. and M.A. in History from the University of Oxford; M.Div. from Harvard University; and a PhD in History from the University of California at Berkeley. She has received honorary doctorates from Colgate University and Episcopal Divinity School.

Professor Shaw is the author of A Practical Christianity (Morehouse 2012); Octavia, Daughter of God: the Story of a Female Messiah and her Followers (Yale 2011), for which she won the San Francisco Book Festival History Prize; and Miracles in Enlightenment England (Yale 2006). She is currently writing a book on the modern history of mysticism, and is also working on a project on empathy, the arts and social change with Anna Deavere Smith.