Faculty and Staff
- Phone: (507) 222-4232
- Fax: (507) 222-4223
Chair of Religion
Director of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement
Professor of Religion
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.
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 entitled "Possessed by a Goddess: Hinduism, Christianity, and the Virgin Mary in South India," and 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 aims 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).
Coordinator of South Asian Studies
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.
Lori K. Pearson (St. Olaf College, BA; Harvard, MTS, ThD), 2003--, is a specialist in the history of Christian theology with particular interests in 19th-century German Protestant thought, modern philosophy of religion, hermeneutics, race, and feminist theory. Her current research focuses on theories of tradition, and on concepts of religion, modernity, and the secular in the long nineteenth century. She is author of Beyond Essence: Ernst Troeltsch as Historian and Theorist of Christianity (2008), co-editor of The Future of the Study of Religion (2004), and author of articles and papers dealing with Ernst Troeltsch, Friedrich Schleiermacher, and other topics.
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. Bibliography.
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).
A. Terrance Wiley (Southern Methodist University, B.A.; Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.; Princeton University, M.A, Ph.D) teaches courses at the intersection of religious ethics, law and politics, Peace Studies, and African American Studies,. He completed his dissertation, “Angelic Troublemakers: Religion and Anarchism in Henry David Thoreau, Dorothy Day, and Bayard Rustin," in April 2011.
Philip Francis (Gordon College, BA; St. Vladimir, MDiv., Holy Cross, M.T.H., Harvard Univ., PhD), 2012 - 2013, is a visiting professor of religion at Carleton. He learned to philosophize at the boatyard in Georgetown, Maine where he grew up; it was a salty mix of lobsterman pragmatists and back-to-the-lander idealists. Conversations ranged from barnacles to Walden. After painting the bottom of many a boat, he took his questions on the road, living and studying in liberation theology base camps in Mexico and Nicaragua, monastic communities in Greece and Egypt, ashrams in India, and an Eastern Orthodox seminary in New York. He settled at Harvard Divinity School where he completed his doctoral studies with a concentration on modern religious thought, gender studies, and the arts. He uses a combination of ethnographic method, contemporary theory, and historiography to explore the complex and shifting interrelationships of the body, gender, and aesthetic experience in the West. His book manuscript is an ethnographic and philosophical study of 100 men and women who grew up in an American fundamentalist Christian community and left it, and for whom the arts played an instrumental role in the process of leaving. At Carleton, he is teaching courses such as ‘Religion and Masculinity’, ‘Images of God’, ‘Eros Crucified’, and ‘Boat Building 101’ (he is kidding about that last one, sort of).
Katie Brink (Macalester, BA; Harvard Univ., MTS, University of Chicago, Ph.D. expected 2013) has taught courses in Biblical Hebrew language, biblical studies, and ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Minnesota, Macalester College, United Theological Seminary, Hamline University, and Concordia University. In Spring 2013 she will be teaching Hebrew Bible at Carleton College. Her interests include the relationship between the literature of the Hebrew Bible and the history, writing, religions and cultures of the wider ancient Near East. Her current research concerns the biblical prophetic actions and parallel traditions found in Mesopotamian, Hittite, and Aramean texts.
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 is now completing another volume, Conscience in Context: Vocation, Virtue, and History.
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 currently working on a manuscript dealing with Japanese women, child loss, and rituals of grieving. Among his 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 Judaic Studies
Director, Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching
Humphrey Doermann Professor of Liberal Learning
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.