Comparative Religion and Humanities

Kate McCarthy

I teach courses in women and religion, Christianity, feminist theory and theology, and religion and popular culture. I help my students explore the relationships between religion and the real social worlds in which religious people live. I am especially interested in the ways in which religious ideas and practices work to maintain as well as challenge social systems that dominate and marginalize certain groups of people: women, poor people, minorities, those of different religious identities. My research has addressed issues related to Latin American liberation theology, interfaith dialogue, feminist theology in the "third world," and American religion and popular culture. My teaching responsibilities include RS 140 Women and Religion, RS 132 Christianity, RS 240 Feminist Theology, and WMST 290 The Seminar in Women's Studies.


Publications

Interfaith Encounters in America

In my latest book I explore the paradox of Americans' deeply held religious beliefs and simultaneous commitment to diversity and freedom of religion. Through a set of case studies of five sites of interfaith encounters in the United States (ranging from the intimate domestic dynamics of multifaith families to the official exchanges of religious institutions at academic and ecclesial conferences) the book is an on-the-ground exploration of what motivates people to engage with those who are religiously different, what happens when they do, and what these encounters can tell us about the evolving meanings of religious identity in America.

Other Works

  • God in the Details: American Religion in Popular Culture