Faculty and Staff
- Phone: 507 222 4232
- Fax: 507 222 4223
Chair of Religion
Lori K. Pearson (St. Olaf College, BA; Harvard, MTS, ThD), 2003--, is a specialist in the history of Christian theology with particular interests in modern philosophy of religion, social theory, race, and feminist thought. Her research has focused on theories of tradition, and on concepts of religion, modernity, and the secular in nineteenth century-Germany. She is author of Beyond Essence: Ernst Troeltsch as Historian and Theorist of Christianity (2008) and co-editor of The Future of the Study of Religion (2004). Her current book project uses the work of Marianne Weber (wife of Max Weber) to explore the ways in which cultural and political debates about women's rights informed early 20th-century theories of religion, social order, and secularization in fin-de-siècle Germany.
Kristin Bloomer (Wesleyan University, B.A; University of Montana, M.F.A; Cambridge University, B.A, M.A; University of Chicago, Ph.D) teaches courses in Christianities and religions of South Asia, with specializations in spirit possession and women's and gender studies. Her research pertains to Christianity, Hinduism, and spirit possession in postcolonial south India; her more general interests lie in exploring historically specific articulations of subjectivity, with particular attention to religiosity, gender, and embodiment. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled "Possessed by a Goddess: Hinduism, Christianity, and the Virgin Mary in South India," an ethnography of Marian spirit possession in Tamil Nadu, India's most southeastern state. Theoretically, her work addresses questions of religion and postcoloniality, ritual and performativity, feminist approaches to ethnography, and relationships between religion, gender, and the body. Her methods aim to explore and interrogate ideas of agency and of subjectivity that pertain not only to the postcolonial "Other," but also to the anthropologist-scholar.
Bloomer's academic publications include: "Comparative Theology, Comparative Religions, and Hindu-Christian Studies: Ethnography as Method," in The Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies, 2008; "Notes From the Field: Retrieving the Dead," The Martin Marty Center for Religion and Culture Web Forum, University of Chicago, February 2005, "http://marty-center.uchicago.edu/webforum/022005/index.shtml"; and other articles and book reviews.
Before entering academia, she worked for several years as a print journalist and earned an M.F.A. in non-fiction writing. For the 2012-13 academic year she is on sabbatical at Harvard University as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and South Asian Religions and Research Associate with the Women's Studies in Religion Program. She is also a 2013 fellow with the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).
Roger R. Jackson (Wesleyan, BA; Wisconsin, MA, PhD), 1983-84, 1989-, teaches the religions of South Asia and Tibet. His special interests include Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and ritual; Buddhist religious poetry; religion and society in Sri Lanka; the study of mysticism; and contemporary Buddhist thought. He is author of Is Enlightenment Possible? (1993) and Tantric Treasures (2004), co-author of The Wheel of Time: Kalachakra in Context (1985), editor of The Crystal Mirror of Philosophical Systems (2009), co-editor of Tibetan Literature: Studies in Genre (1996), Buddhist Theology (1999), and Mahamudra and the Bka'brgyud Tradition (2011), and has published many articles and reviews. He is a past editor of the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, and is currently co-editor of the Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies.
Michael D. McNally (Carleton, BA ; Harvard Univ., MDiv, MA, PhD), 2001-, teaches courses in American religion and culture and Native American religious traditions. His special interests include the tradition and history of Minnesota's Anishinaabe/Ojibwe community, Native American Christianity, and lived religion in America. He is author of Honoring Elders: Aging, Authority, and Ojibwe Religion (2009), Ojibwe Singers: Hymns, Grief, and a Native Culture in Motion (2000), editor of Art of Tradition: Sacred Story, Song, and Dance among Michigan's Anishinaabe (2009), and a number of book chapters and journal articles. His current research project explores the intersection between Native American traditions, the category of "religion", and various facets of the law.
Noah Salomon (Reed College, BA; University of Chicago, MA; University of Chicago, PhD) teaches courses in Islamic Studies and theory and method in the study of religion. His research has explored the intersection of Islamic political formations and religious discourse (praise poetry, conversion narratives, and debates on Islamic knowledge) among Sufi and Salafi Muslims in contemporary Sudan. He is currently working on a book manuscript that attempts an ethnography of the Islamic state in Sudan from 1989 to the present as well as a new project on secularism and the construction of a new Muslim minority in the nascent state of South Sudan. List of Publications
Asuka Sango (Wittenberg University, BA; University of Illinois, MA; Princeton University, PhD), 2007-, teaches courses in the religions of East Asia. Her teaching interests include the history of Japanese and Chinese religions, Buddhist ecology, and social activism in Asian religions. She is the author of recent and forthcoming articles on the development of Buddhist debate in premodern Japan; i.e. a discussion between two (sometimes more than two) monks concerning the (often controversial) doctrinal points of Buddhist scriptures and commentaries. She is currently working on a book manuscript, which examines Buddhist rituals sponsored by the ancient state of Japan, and analyzes how such ritual performance offered a unique site for producing political power and doctrinal knowledge.
Shana Sippy (Barnard College, BA; Harvard University, MTS) is a visiting professor. She is a specialist in the religions of the South Asian diaspora. She is the author of numerous articles and presentations and coauthor of The College Woman's Handbook (Educating Ourselves) (1995).
Lauren Osborne (Lawrence University, BA and BMus; University of Chicago, MA) is a visiting professor teaching classes on Islam. Her research is on the recitation of the Qur’an and the possibilities for understanding meaning across the sound and experience of the text. She is interested more broadly in Qur’anic studies and Qur’an as literature, sensory experience in religion (both in religious texts and religious experience), Islamic mysticism (particularly the works of Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi) and music and religion.
Ian Barbour was a physics major at Swarthmore and was awarded a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Chicago. After teaching physics in Michigan he earned a divinity degree from Yale. Coming to Carleton in 1955, he founded the department of religion while teaching half time in physics. He began research, teaching, and writing on science and religion, dealing with methodological issues and the theological implications of contemporary science. In the seventies he and a political scientist started an interdisciplinary program currently called Environment and Technology Studies, and wrote about ethical issues raised by technology. In 1989 and 1990 he gave the Gifford Lectures in Scotland. In 1999, Barbour was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. He has written or edited a dozen books, most recently When Science Meets Religion which has been translated into 14 languages.
Richard E. Crouter, Emeritus (Occidental, BA; Union Theological Seminary, BD, ThD), 1967- 2003 has a primary interest in the modern religious thought of Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, and Reinhold Niebuhr. He is the translator of Friedrich Schleiermacher's 1799 On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers (1996), co-editor of the Journal for the History of Modern of Theology, (1993- ), and author of Friedrich Schleiermacher: Between Enlightenment and Romanticism (2005). His most recent book is Reinhold Niebuhr: On Politics, Religion, and Christian Faith (2010).
Anne E. Patrick (Medaille College, BA; Univ. of Maryland, MA; Univ. of Chicago, MA, PhD), 1980-, is William H. Laird Professor of Religion and the Liberal Arts. She has a special interest in the areas of religion and literature, and Christian feminist theology and ethics. A past President of the Catholic Theological Society of America, she was also a founding Vice-president of the International Network of Societies for Catholic Theology. She is the author of numerous articles and reviews, and the book Liberating Conscience: Feminist Explorations in Catholic Moral Theology (1996). She has written another volume, Conscience and Calling: Ethical Reflections on Catholic Women's Church Vocations. Recently she was chosen by The Catholic Theological Society of America as the 2013 recipient of the John Courtney Murray Award. The award is considered the Society's highest honor, and is given annually to a member who has achieved a lifetime of distinguished theological scholarship.
Bardwell Smith (Yale, BA; Yale Divinity School, BD; Yale University, MA, PhD). Taught at Carleton 1960-1995 in East and South Asian religions and philosophies. His special interests include religion and society in Sri Lanka and Buddhism in Japan. He is the author of Narratives of Sorrow and Dignity: Japanese Women, Pregnancy Loss, and Modern Rituals of Grieving. Some of his other publications have been the following: Unsui: A Diary of Zen Monastic Life; Religion and Legitimation of Power in Sri Lanka; Warlords, Artists and Commoners: Japan in the Sixteenth Century; Essays on Gupta Culture; and The City as a Sacred Center: Essays in Six Asian Contexts. He is a Past President of the American Society for the Study of Religion (ASSR, 1996-1999). Earlier he served as Dean of the College, 1967-72.
Director of Advising
John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies
Louis E. Newman (Univ. of Minnesota, BA, MA: Brown Univ., PhD), 1983 -, teaches courses in Judaic studies and has special interests in Jewish ethics and contemporary Jewish life and thought, especially in America. He is the author of Past Imperatives: Studies in the History and Theory of Jewish Ethics (1998), and An Introduction to Jewish Ethics (2005). He is co-editor (with Elliot Dorff) of Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality (1995) and Contemporary Jewish Theology (1999) and three other volumes on ethical issues in a series entitled Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices. His most recent book is Repentance: The Meaning and Practice of Teshuvah (2010).
Administrative Assistant in Philosophy
Mankato State University, BSN
Sandy Saari joined the Departments of Religion and Philosophy in late July of 2009 as their Administrative Assistant. Sandy provides administrative support and office management for the two department Chairs and the faculty, along with assisting and supervising student workers. She worked for nine years in the Admissions Office at Carleton managing the Alumni Admissions Representatives (AAR) Program. Before joining the Carleton staff, she served as a RN in the Northfield Public Schools and at Methodist and St. Mary's Hospitals in Rochester, MN.