T. J. Tomlin earned his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri. His research explores the interplay between religion and American culture, primarily in the eighteenth century. He is the author of A Divinity for All Persuasions: Almanacs and Early American Religious Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014) Printed and sold annually, almanacs were calendars and astrologically-based medical handbooks filled with poetry, essays, and descriptions of the workings of the natural world. Because they were unaffiliated with any one denomination and sold in mind-boggling numbers, almanacs offer a unique vantage point from which to view America’s religious past. Tomlin has received fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the Virginia Historical Society. He is currently working on a history of chance in early America. Using lotteries, cards, dice, and the casting of lots to decipher God’s will, this study places changing formulations of chance in the context of eighteenth century intellectual, scientific, and religious debates.
At UNC, Professor Tomlin offers courses, including Early America to 1763, Revolutionary America, Religion in American history, and a capstone seminar in the history of print.