Kathryn D. Blanchard, Ph.D.
Chair and Associate Professor
Joined Alma College Faculty in 2006
Office Hours: Fall 2013: MWF 10:30-11:30 a.m.; TTh 9-10 a.m.
The Reverend Sun Myung Moon has argued - echoing a popular modern notion - that, "The essence of all religions is the same... most of the teachings of the major world religions are the same at their core." On the other hand, religion scholar Stephen Prothero recently wrote, "The world's religions do converge when it comes to ethics, but they diverge sharply on doctrine, ritual, mythology, experience, and law. These differences may not matter to mystics or philosophers of religion, but they matter to ordinary religious people."
In between these two sentiments there are many interesting conversations to be had. What is the "essence" of any given religion, or of "religion" itself? Is religion one thing, nothing, or many things? Who speaks for religion(s)? How do religious beliefs, practices, and traditions affect the way people conduct themselves in private life, communities, and the world at large?
I invite anyone who is interested in exploring these questions - through critical reading, vigorous in-class debate, and careful written argument - to join me in these conversations, which I believe contribute to the college's mission of preparing graduates who "think critically, serve generously, lead purposefully, and live responsibly as stewards of the world they bequeath to future generations."
- Ph.D., Religion (Christian Theology and Ethics), Duke University
- M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary
- B.A., Religious Studies, Kenyon College
Economic, sexual, and environmental ethics; pedagogy in the study of religion.
Recent Courses Taught
- Religion Bestsellers. REL 280/380.
- Religion and Sexuality. FYS101.24.
- Introduction to World Religions. REL 100.
Selected Book Publications
- Jane S. Webster, co-editors. Lady Parts: Biblical Women and 'The Vagina Monologues'. Wipf & Stock. November 20, 2012.
- Kathryn D. Blanchard. The Protestant Ethic or the Spirit of Capitalism: Christians, Freedom, and Free Markets. Cascade Books. July 22, 2010.
- Feler Bose and Kathryn D. Blanchard, Ph.D.. "Homo Economicus Meets Homo Religiosus: A Collaborative Undergraduate Course in Economics and Religion." Christian Business Academy Review. Spring 2013. Pp. 13-22. April 15, 2013.
- Kathryn D. Blanchard. "Modeling Lifelong Learning: Collaborative Teaching across Disciplinary Lines." Teaching Theology and Religion. 2012. Volume 15. Issue 4. October 4, 2012.
- Kathryn D. Blanchard. "Family Planning; Jealousy and Envy; Welfare State." Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2011.
- Kathryn D. Blanchard. "Matthew 18:21-35; 20:1-16; and 21:23-32." Feasting on the Word Commentary: Year A, Volume 4. Westminster John Knox Press (2011). April 12, 2011.
- Kathryn D. Blanchard, Ph.D.. "Who's Afraid of 'The Vagina Monologues'? Christian Responses and Responsibility to Women on Campus and in the Global Community." Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics. 30.2 (Fall/Winter 2010) November 15, 2010.
- Kathryn D. Blanchard, Ph.D.. "Accepting Our Limitations: The Textbook as Crutch and Compromise." Teaching Theology and Religion. Volume 12, Issue 3, pp. 252-3. July 3, 2009.
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- Kathryn D. Blanchard, Ph.D.. Review of When "Spiritual But Not Religious" Is Not Enough, by Lillian Daniel. Religion Dispatches. http://www.salon.com/2013/03/02/are_you_sbnr_spiritual_but_not_religious_or_just_nr_partner/
- Kathryn D. Blanchard, Ph.D.. Review of Comedy and Feminist Interpretation of the Bible, by Melissa A. Jackson. Review of Biblical Literature. February 2013. http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/8656_9504.pdf February 20, 2012.
- Kathryn D. Blanchard, Ph.D.. Review of God and Money: A Theology of Money in a Globalizing World, by Nimi Wariboko. Religious Studies Review. March 2011. Vol. 37: 1 (38). March 16, 2011.
- Kathryn D. Blanchard, Ph.D.. Review of Christian Theology and Market Economics, by Ian R. Harper and Samuel Gregg, eds.. Journal of the History of Economic Thought. Vol. 32:2 (301-303). May 11, 2010.
- Kathryn D. Blanchard, Ph.D.. Review of Transfiguring capitalism: an enquiry into religion and social change, by John Atherton. Religious Studies Review. 2009. 35:4. 237 August 15, 2009.
- Kathryn D. Blanchard. Review of The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce, by Deirdre McCloskey (and four other books by A. Barrera, M. De La Torre, R. Peters, and J. Nelson). Political Theology. 2009. 10. 1. 177-180. March 1, 2009.
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Selected Chapter Book Publications
- "Do Less, Sit More, and Take Up the Easy Yoke." In Renew 52: Ideas to Change the Church, edited by David Lose, 100-101. http://cbpstore.luthersem.edu/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=65: Center for Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary, 2012.
Selected Creative Works
- "Who Do We Think We Are?." Chronicle of Higher Education - The Conversation. http://chronicle.com/blogs/conversation/. June 18, 2013.
- "A Protestant Liberal Defends Clerical Celibacy ." Salon. http://www.salon.com/2013/03/10/clerical_celibacy_isnt_all_about_sex_partner/. March 10, 2013.
- "Attack of the Spiritual But Not Religious." The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-blanchard/attack-of-the-spiritual-but-not-religious_b_1942399.html. October 5, 2012.
- "The Bible Hates Homosexuality: So What?." The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-blanchard/the-bible-hates-homosexuality-so-what_b_2118043.html. November 16, 2012.
- "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda: Be Nice!." Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning Blogs. http://wabashcenter.typepad.com/coulda_woulda_shoulda/. February 9, 2013.
- "Parent, Prophet, Con-Man, Spy: Who Was Reverend Moon?." Religion Dispatches. http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/6360/parent%2C_prophet%2C_con-man%2C_spy%3A_who_was_rev._moon/. September 5, 2012.
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- With Michel Andraos, Ann Burlein.  "Does It Fit?: The Classroom as a Context for the Making and Testing of Knowledge." American Academy of Religion. Atlanta, GA. November 2010.
- "If Your Vagina Could Talk, What Would It Say? An Interview with Sarah and Hagar." Society of Biblical Literature. Atlanta, GA. November 2010.
- "Re-writing the Bible, One 'Vagina Monologue' at a Time." Re-writing the Bible Conference. Glasgow, Scotland. June 2010.
- "Who's Afraid of 'The Vagina Monologues'? Christian Responses and Responsibility to Women on Campus and in the Global Community." Society of Christian Ethics. San Jose, CA. January 8, 2010.
Selected External Research Grants
- Kate Blanchard and Kevin O'Brien.  "Prophets Meet Profits: Christian Ethics and Free Market Environmentalism." Louisville Institute. Effective: August 1, 2012.
Service to the College
- Advisor, MacCurdy House
- Strategy and Planning Task Force
- Academic Standards Committee
- Faculty Athletics Representative
- Director, Women's and Gender Studies