Luke Clossey

Associate Professor
Office: AQ 6237
Telephone: 778-782-3150
Personal Website:



Future courses may be subject to change.


Born at the edge of the Colorado Desert, Luke Clossey has studied and taught world history for the last decade, near the San Francisco Bay, the Danube, and the Yellow Sea. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, awarded him the doctorate in history in 2004 for his dissertation on early Jesuit networks linking Germany, Mexico, and China. He joined the SFU History Department later that year.

Research Interests

Vast and often shallow, like Hudson Bay, Clossey's research interests encompass early-modern world history, with a focus on religion and globalization. For the last decade he has been doing research in four dozen countries on the late-traditional (1400-1800) cult of Jesus, from Kamal Al-Din Al-Damiri to Thomas Jefferson. He also studies trends in the historical profession, and advocates a more global and more source-based approach to history.



  • "Faith In Empire: Religious Sources Of Legitimacy For Expansionist Early-Modern States," in Politics and Reformations: Communities, Polities, Nations, and Empires (Brill, 2007), 571-588.
  • “Asia-Centered Approaches to the History of the Early Modern World: A Methodological Romp”, in Comparative Early Modernities: 1100-1800, ed. David Porter (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 73-98.
  • With Karin Vélez and Sebastian R. Prange, "Religious Ideas in Motion," A Companion to World History, ed. David Northrop (Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 352-364.
  • With Nicholas Guyatt, "It's a Small World After All: The Wider World in Historians' Peripheral Vision," Perspectives on History 51.5 (2013)
  • “Language, Belief, Knowledge,” in The Cambridge History of the World, vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2015), 132-64.
  • "The Geographies and Methodologies of Religion in the Journal of Early Modern History," Journal of Early Modern History 20 (2016): 1-14.
  • "From the Mission to the Classroom: the global perspective and the history of teaching religion", World History Association Bulletin 23 (2007): 18-21
  • "Merchants, migrants, missionaries, and globalization in the early-modern Pacific", Journal of Global History 1.1 (2006): 41-58.
  • "The Early-Modern Jesuit Missions as a Global Movement," University of California Escholarship Archive (2005).


Areas of Graduate Supervision

Early-modern religion

Teaching Interests

World history, history of religion


  • Canadian Historical Association Wallace K. Ferguson prize for best book with non-Canadian subject matter. (2010)
  • SFU Assistant/Associate Professor Dean's Medal (2010)
  • World History Association paper prize (2005)
  • Award for Martial Vigor (UC Berkeley, Physical Education, 1999)