Jerry H. Bentley (born 1949 in Birmingham; died July 15, 2012) was a historian specializing in the cultural history of early modern Europe and on cross-cultural interactions. He was the founding editor of the Journal of World History and director of the Center for World History at the University of Hawaii.
Bentley was the oldest of three sons born to an engineer in Birmingham. He attended Brainerd High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee and earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Tennessee in 1971. He then entered the University of Minnesota where he completed a master's and PhD in 1974 and 1976. He began his academic career as an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii. He was promoted to associate professor in 1982 and to full professor in 1987.
Bentley founded the Journal of World History in 1990 and co-authored the standard college textbook Traditions and Encounters in 2000. Two awards are named for him: the Bentley Book Prize, established in 2012 by the World History Association, and the Jerry Bentley Prize in World History established in 2014 by the American Historical Association.
- Bentley, Jerry H. (1983) Humanists and Holy Writ: New Testament Scholarship in the Renaissance. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press
- Bentley, Jerry H. (1987) Politics and Culture in Renaissance Naples. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press
- Bentley, Jerry H. (1993) Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times. New York: Oxford University Press
- Bentley, Jerry H. and Herbert F. Ziegler (2000) Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past. Boston, Massachusetts: McGraw-Hill
- "Jerry H. Bentley" (January 11, 2015) Wikipedia - accessed April 22, 2015