Dr. John Compton

Dr. John Compton

Professor, Chair, Department of Political Science
Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Department of Political Science
Expertise: Religion and Politics; Supreme Court and Constitutional Law; U.S. Congress;
Office Location: Roosevelt Hall 256
Office Hours: TH 1:30-3 pm and by appointment
Phone: (714) 628-2762
Scholarly Works:
Digital Commons
William Jewell College, Bachelor of Arts
Syracuse University, Master of Arts
University of California, Los Angeles, Ph.D.


Dr. Compton joined the Chapman political science faculty in 2011 after completing his Ph.D. at UCLA. His teaching and research interests include American political development, constitutional law, and religion and politics. In 2012, he was awarded the Law and Society Association’s annual dissertation prize. His first book, The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution, was published by Harvard University Press in 2014. In 2015, he received the Cromwell Book Prize for excellence in scholarship in the field of American legal history by a junior scholar (for Evangelical Origins). His most recent book, The End of Empathy: Why White Protestants Stopped Loving Their Neighbors (Oxford, 2020) received honorable mention for the Hubert Morken Book Prize, awarded by the American Political Science Association’s religion and politics section. Dr. Compton’s articles have appeared in Studies in American Political Development, the Review of Politics, American Political Thought, and the Journal of Supreme Court History.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

The End of Empathy: Why White Protestants Stopped Loving Their Neighbors (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).
“Why the Covenant Worked: On the Institutional Foundations of the American Civil Religion.” Religions 10, no. 6 (2019). (Special issue on Civil Religion in America, Raymond J. Haberski, Jr., ed.)
The Cambridge Companion to the United States Constitution (Cambridge University Press, 2018; co-edited with Karen Orren)
“Sex Ed for Christians,” Review of R. Marie Griffith, Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians & Fractured American Politics and Adam Laats, Fundamentalist U: Keeping the Faith in American Higher Education, Los Angeles Review of Books, April 23, 2018.
“Easing the Shoe Where It Pinches: The Lottery Case and the Demise of Dual Federalism.” Journal of Supreme Court History 40, no. 2 (2015).
“Evangelical Reform and the Paradoxical Origins of the Right to Privacy.” Maryland Law Review 75, no. 1 (2015)
“What Is Originalism Good For?” (Review Essay) Tulsa Law Review 50, no. 2 (2015).
The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014)
“Political Theory in Institutional Context: The Case of Patriot Royalism.” (with Karen Orren) American Political Thought 3, no. 1 (2014).