Faculty and Staff

General contact


Lori Pearson, Associate Professor of Religion
Lori Pearson Profile
Professor of Religion
Chair of Religion
Off Campus: Fall 2016 through Spring 2017

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  gender.  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.

From 2012-13, she was a Research Associate and Visiting Associate Professor in the Women's Studies in Religion Program at Harvard University.  She currently has a 3-year Mellon New Directions Grant to help her link theology to the social sciences, especially around questions of law, social theory, and politics.

At Carleton, she has enjoyed her work as a mentor in the Posse Program and is interested in academic initiatives related to ethics, social philosophy, and the humanities.

Kristin Bloomer Profile
Assistant Professor of Religion

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.  At Carleton, she is affiliated with the Women and Gender Studies Program and with Asian and South Asian Studies.

Bloomer's academic publications include: "Comparative Theology, Comparative Religion, and Hindu-Christian Studies: Ethnography as Method," in The Journal of 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; 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. From 2012-2013, she served at Harvard University's Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and South Asian Religions and Research Associate with the Women's Studies in Religion Program.  She is a 2013 fellow with the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).  Prior to Carleton, she served as Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, where she learned to surf - a skill that has come in handy, even in Minnesota.

Roger Jackson
Roger Jackson Profile
John W. Nason Professor of Asian Studies and Religion
Off Campus: Winter 2016

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.

Professor and Chair
Michael McNally ’85 Profile
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.

Assistant Professor of Religion
Noah Salomon Profile
Assistant Professor of Religion

Noah Salomon (BA, Reed College; MA, PhD University of Chicago) 2010--teaches courses in Islamic Studies and theory and method in the study of Religion. His research examines the intersections between religion and state in Africa through ethnographic explorations of pious activities and political life among Muslim communities. He has related interests in Sufi thought and poetics, Salafi revivalism, and the intellectual culture of Islamic modernism. His first book project “The People of Sudan Love You, Oh Messenger of God:” An Ethnography of the Islamic State (forthcoming with Princeton University Press, 2016) is a study of the political form of the modern Islamic state and Sudan’s complicated engagement with it.  His recent research in South Sudan has focused on the establishment of state secularism as a mode of unravelling the Islamic State, as well as the construction of a Muslim minority as part of a nascent project of nation building. He has begun preliminary work on a new project that will attempt an introduction to contemporary Muslim societies through a series of micro-analyses of individuals and movements whose existence problematizes the taxonomic logic of common introductions to the Islamic world: from Sufi communists to Salafi faith healers to the place of jinn in political life. Salomon was a member at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) in the School of Social Science for the 2013-4 academic year and has been part of recent collaborative grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (on Islamic epistemologies in Africa) and the Islam Research Programme, Netherlands (on religious minorities in the two Sudans following partition). List of Publications

Akuka Sango
Asuka Sango Profile
Associate Professor of Religion
Off Campus: Spring 2016

Asuka Sango (Wittenberg University, BA; University of Illinois, MA; Princeton University, PhD), 2007-, teaches courses in the religions of East Asia. Her chief research field is Japanese Buddhism of the medieval period.  She is the author of The Halo of Golden Light: Imperial Authority and Buddhist Ritual in Heian Japan (2015), which examines the competitive and yet complementary relationship between the state and the Buddhist community in ancient Japan.  In her spare time, she pursues her passion for Argentine tango.

Shana Sippy
Shana Sippy Profile
Visiting Instructor in Religion

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).

Kevin Wolfe Profile
Robert A. Oden Jr. Postdoctoral Fellow for Innovation in the Humanities in Religion

Kevin Wolfe (Bowdoin College, AB; Harvard Divinity School, MTS) is the Robert A. Oden Jr. Postdoctoral Fellow for Innovation in the Humanities in Religion.  He recently defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Justifying Democracy beyond Nietzsche's Critique," in the Religion, Ethics & Politics subfield of the Religion department at Princeton University. Kevin's research and teaching interests include Moral Philosophy, African-American Religious and Political Thought, and Philosophy of Religion.

Emeriti Faculty

Richard Crouter
Richard Crouter Profile
John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus

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 Patrick
Anne Patrick Profile
William H. Laird Professor of Religion and the Liberal Arts, Emerita

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, emeritus
Bardwell Smith Profile
John W. Nason Professor of Religion and Asian Studies, Emeritus

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.


Louis Newman
Louis Newman Profile
Associate Dean of the College
Director of Advising
John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies
Off Campus: Fall 2016 through Spring 2017

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 Religion/Administrative Assistant in Philosophy
Sandy Saari
Administrative Assistant in Religion
Administrative Assistant in Philosophy

Mankato State University, BSN

Sandy Saari joined the Departments of Philosophy and Religion 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.