Beyond the Religious Studies Classroom


  • BA, Saint Olaf College
  • MA, Duke University
  • PHD, Duke University

Professor of Religious Studies

Contact Information

The intellectual exploration of religious questions is a grounding force in my life, shaping much of what I do both professionally and personally. I first encountered its fascinations as an undergrad in a Humanities seminar: a unit devoted to arguments for the existence of God both disoriented and intrigued me when I found myself simultaneously convinced by both Anselms’ and Aquinas’ rather incommensurate God proofs. How could this be? A commitment to the academic study of religion as my life’s work assumed more specific shape as a result of a semester study abroad, living and learning in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Currently, the specific kinds of questions that most animate me include: How do the various religions of the world treat women? What resources does the Bible provide for the dilemmas of global climate change and socio- economic injustices? What meaning and purpose might be wrested from biblical narratives that convey violence-especially violence against women? I enjoy exploring these questions both in and out of the classroom, with students and in my writing, at Susquehanna and in the religious community to which I belong.

For respite and recharging, Susquehanna’s location in central Pennsylvania makes it easy to get off into the woods to ski, hike, meditate, and just “be.” As well, time with family and friends, and travel-both nationally and internationally-are important to me. (I’ve been to every state in the Union except two-the largest and the smallest.)


Participant, Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Classroom, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, 2013-14

Honorary Faculty Member, Omicron Delta Kappa, 2011

Mini Grant for Research Support, Susquehanna University, 2006

Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2005

NEH Challenge Grant (Arthur Vining David Fund), Susquehanna University, 2002

Lutheran Academy of Scholars in Higher Education, Division for Higher Education and Schools - ELCA, Harvard University, 2000


Eco-Lutheranism: Lutheran Perspectives on Ecology. Minneapolis, MN: Lutheran University Press, 2013 [co-edited with Shauna Hannan].

An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible: A Thematic Approach. Nashville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008 [with Sandra L. Gravett, F. Volker Greifenhagen, and Donald C. Polaski].


“When It Both Is and Is Not Rape: Gender Constructions in 2 Samuel 13:1-22.” In Celebrate Her for the Fruit of Her Hands: Studies in Honor of Carol L. Meyers, Susan Ackerman and
Charles E.. Carter, ed. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. 2015. Pgs. 61-80.

“Conventions/Contraventions: The Meanings of Public and Private for the Judges 19 Concubine.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 83 (June 1999): 83-98.

“Women’s Names and Naming.” In Women in Scripture, Carol L. Meyers, editor-in-chief. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 2000. Pgs. 33-39.

“Living on the Edge: The Liminality of Daughters in Genesis to 2 Samuel.” In A Feminist Companion to Samuel and Kings, edited by Athalya Brenner. Sheffield: Sheffield
Academic Press, 1994. Pgs. 26-42.

Dictionary entries (“Daughter of Jephthah,” “Companions of Jephthah’s Daughter,” “Daughters [and Sons] Who Prophesy,” “Daughter”) for Women in Scripture, Carol L. Meyers, ed.-in-
chief. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 2000. Pgs. 243-44, 347, 517-19.

Dictionary entries (“Jezebel,” “Names and Naming”) for the Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, D. N. Freedman, ed.-in-chief. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000. Pgs. 713-14, 944-46.


“Learning Through Drawing,” In Teaching Theology & Religion 17/4 (Oct 2014): 350-51.

“Teaching Gender in the Hebrew Bible.” In Teaching the Bible: an E-Pub for High School Teachers. Society of Biblical Literature. December, 2010.

Essay entries (“Debating Joseph,” “Comparing Portrayals of God,” “Role-Playing Biblical Narratives,” and “Acts 1-8 and the Early Church”) for Teaching the Bible: Practical Strategies for Classroom Instruction, edited by Mark Roncace and Patrick Gray. Atlanta: SBL Publications, 2005. Pgs. 108-9, 240-41, 247-48, 331-32

“A Tale of Two Teachers: How We Adapted the Same Graduate School Education to Two Different Institutional Realities,” Perspective in Religious Studies 27/4 (Winter 2000): 427-33. [with Sandra L. Gravett]

“Teaching Students by Having Students Teach (Dealing with the ‘Problem’ Sections of a Course).” Teaching Theology & Religion 3/3 (Oct. 2000): 170-76.


“Introduction.” In Eco-Lutheranism: Lutheran Perspectives on Ecology, Karla Bohmbach and Shauna Hannan, eds. Minneapolis, MN: Lutheran University Press, 2013. Pgs. 5-14.

“What Sort of Claim Does the Bible Have Today?” In Hearing the Word: Lutheran Hermeneutics - A Vision of Life Under the Gospel, David C. Ratke, ed. Minneapolis, MN: Lutheran University Press, 2006. Pgs. 78-82.

“What Sort of Claims Does the Bible Have Today?”, “Rape: A Meditation on 2 Samuel 13,” and “The Sacrificing of Children: A Meditation on Judges 11,” Journal of Lutheran Ethics 4/5 (May 2004). On-line journal.

“Of Fathers and Feminism: How One Lutheran Woman Came to a Vocation,” Intersections: faith + life + learning 14 (Summer 2002): 31-40.

  • RELI-500: Capstone
  • RELI-400: Capstone: Masculinity in Bible
  • RELI-104: Ethics in Biblical Stories
  • RELI-400: God Or Gods in Biblical Israel
  • WGST-100: Introduction to Women and Gender Studies
  • PRDV-104: Perspectives
  • RELI-400: Spiritual Exploration
  • RELI-201: The Hebrew Bible
  • JWST-207: Women in Biblical Tradition
  • RELI-207: Women in Biblical Tradition
  • HONS-301: Women in Religion
  • RELI-225: Women in Religion
  • WGST-225: Women in Religion
  • WGST-207: Women in the Biblical Tradition