Michael  Breidenbach

Prof. Michael Breidenbach

Associate Professor of History, Ave Maria University

Prof. Michael Breidenbach is an historian of American politics, religion, law, and culture. He is an Associate Professor of History at Ave Maria University and a Senior Affiliate for Legal Humanities at the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania.


He is the author of Our Dear-Bought Liberty: Catholics and Religious Toleration in Early America (Harvard University Press, 2021), runner-up for the 2022 Journal of the American Revolution Book of the Year Award. He is co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to the First Amendment and Religious Liberty (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Breidenbach’s writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, Washington Post, and First Things.


Dr. Breidenbach was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2022. He has held research positions at Princeton University; St. John's College, Oxford; Corpus Christi College, Oxford; Rothermere American Institute, Oxford; Wolfson College, Cambridge; McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania; University of Florida; Villanova University; and Collegium Institute. He has also appeared on national television and radio programs.


He obtained his Ph.D. in History from King’s College, Cambridge, where he was a Cambridge Overseas Trust Scholar. He was a visiting graduate student in History at the Sorbonne in Paris and earned his M.Phil. with Distinction in Political Thought and Intellectual History at Cambridge. He graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and with departmental honors from Northwestern University with a B.A. in History and American Studies. He also received a Level 3 Award with Merit in Wines from the London-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust.


He lives in Southwest Florida with his wife, Janice Chik Breidenbach, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ave Maria University, and their son.


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