David Harrington Watt is the Douglas and Dorothy Steere Professor of Quaker Studies, a Professor of Independent College Programs, and an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Religion. He earned an A.B. in History from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University. Watt taught courses at Temple University from over thirty years.
Courses that Watt has taught recently include: "Hiroshima and Nagasaki," "Quakers in Philadelphia and New Jersey, 1672-present," "Reinventing Quakerism," and "Taking Religion Seriously: Quakerism as a Test Case."
The books and articles Watt has written include: A Transforming Faith; Bible-Carrying Christians; Antifundamentalism in Modern America; "Whose Freedoms? Which Religions?;" “Philadelphia, Rufus Jones, and the Reinvention of Quakerism;" and “Henry Cadbury, Haverford College and the Founding of the American Friends Service Committee." (The article on Cadbury was co-authored with James Krippner.)
Together with Simon Wood, Watt edited a volume, Fundamentalism: Perspectives on a Contested History, that explored what is lost and what is gained when Jews and Muslims are labeled "fundamentalists." In collaboration with Laura Levitt and Tracy Fessenden, Watt edits a series, North American Religions, for NYU Press. Books in the series explore topics such as lived religion, popular religious movements, religion and social power, religion and cultural reproduction, and the relationship between secular and religious practices.
Watt's current research focuses on Henry Cadbury's understanding of war, violence, and peace and on the history of the Society of Friends in the years between 1830 and 1937.
Watt is a member of the American Studies Association, the Friends Association for Higher Education, the Friends Historical Association, and the American Academy of Religion. He helped draft the AAR's "Statement on Standards Pertaining to Contingent Faculty." Watt has co-chaired the AAR's North American Religions section and its Academic Relations Committee. He has also served as the AAR's delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies.