Robert O. Smith | Department of History

Robert O. Smith

Assistant Professor
WH 266
Historian at the Intersection of Christian Theology and Political Theory

Robert O. Smith (he/him/his) is an historian of the present working at the intersection of Christian theology and political theory with interests in Indigenous studies, coloniality, and white supremacy. Smith is an enrolled citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Prior to arriving at the University of North Texas, Smith lived in Jerusalem, where he founded and directed the Jerusalem Global Gateway of the University of Notre Dame while affiliated with both the Department of Theology and the Keough School of Global Affairs. This academic post built on Smith's years of experience directing the ELCA's work in the Middle East and North Africa while serving in volunteer leadership roles with the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation, both based in Geneva, Switzerland. He has participated in national and international Jewish-Christian and Muslim-Christian dialogue while supporting Christian communities throughout the Middle East, especially in Israel and Palestine.

Originally from Oklahoma, Smith earned an MDiv and MA in Islamic Studies from Luther Seminary (St. Paul, Minn.) and his PhD in Religion, Politics & Society from Baylor University (Waco, Tex.). In addition to many academic articles, he is the author of More Desired than Our Owne Salvation: The Roots of Christian Zionism (Oxford, 2013) and editor, with Göran Gunner, of Comprehending Christian Zionism: Perspectives in Comparison (Fortress, 2014).

UNT Faculty Profile

Select Publications:

"Christian Zionism, American Modernity, and the Trump Declaration on Jerusalem" (January 8, 2018)


"Prophecy, the Pope, and the Turk: Luther's Pastoral Apocalyptic"