Marianne DelaporteMarianne Delaporte , Ph.D.

Academic Unit Leader Religious Studies

Professor, Religious Studies

Marianne Delaporte is an active member of the Faculty Development committee and Faculty Senate. She is currently engaged in research and writing a book on maternal mysticism. She has presented on St Birgita of Sweden’s use of maternal imagery in her visions and on the medieval understanding of motherhood. Most recently she has been studying The Farm commune in Tennessee, concentrating on the theology of Stephen Gaskin and how this theology came to influence the work of Ina May Gaskin as found in Spiritual Midwifery. This work has lead to her continued interest in and research on issues of maternity in alternative religious communities.


  • Ph.D., Medieval Church History. Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey. 2004.
    • Dissertation: “The Headless Holy Man: A Study of the Lives of Denis by Hilduin of Saint-Denis.”
  • MA, History of Religion. Graduate Theological Union, Franciscan School of Theology, Berkeley, CA. 1993.
    • Dissertation: “Saints and Beasts: The Iconography of Animals in Breton Hagiography.”
  • BA, Religion and Humanities. University of Chicago, 1990.

Courses Taught

  • From Agape to Eros: The Many Faces of Love
  • Christianity: Beginnings to 1500
  • Voices in Christian Spirituality
  • Women’s Spirituality
  • Mysticism in the Religions of the Book
  • Women and Philosophy
  • Religions of the World
  • Modern Christianity
  • Theologies of Liberation
  • The Christian in Society
  • World History
  • Developments in Gender and Sexuality in the Church
  • History of Western Culture
  • Reel Religion: Christianity and Film

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • “Giving and Receiving Hospitality During Community Engagement Courses”. Chapter in Teaching Civic Engagement. Edited by Forrest Clingerman and Reid B. Locklin. Oxford University Press. 2016.
  • “The Rush of Childbirth: Revolutionary Changes in Understanding Childbirth in the Spiritual Counter-Culture” – West Coast American Academy of Religion Conference. March 2015. Santa Clara, CA.
  • Paper Presentation: Maternal Mysticism: Images of Birthing and Motherhood at the Berkshire Conference of the History of Women, June 9 – 11, 2011. Amherst, Massachusetts.
  • “Site Visits and Civic Engagement: Encountering and Engaging a More Diverse Vision of “the Civic” co-authored with Hans Wiersma. In Spotlight on Teaching, AAR October 2010.
  • Paper Presentation: The Widow and the Empress: The Empress Judith and Biblical Commentators at the American Society for Church History meeting. January 2010.
  • Paper Presentation: The Theology of Pseudo-Dionysius as Understood or Misunderstood by Hilduin of Saint-Denis at the American Society of Church History Spring meeting. Salt Lake City, Utah. April 13 – 15, 2007.
  • Several articles in Westminster Dictionary of the Christian Church. 2008.
  • “He Darkens Me with Brightness: the Theology of Pseudo-Dionysius in Hilduin’s Vita of Saint Denis” in Religion and Theology: A Journal of Contemporary Religious Discourse (13:3 and 4), 2006.
  • Co-author, “Hell as a Residual Category” in Companion to Sociology of Religion, Blackwell Publishers, 2001.
  • Review of John Kitchen’s Saints’ Lives and the Rhetoric of Gender: Male and Female in Merovingian Hagiography in Koinonia (11:1, Spring 1999).
  • Review of Richard Fenn’s The End of Time in The Princeton Seminary Bulletin (20:2, 1999).
  • Review of Gary MacEoin et al., ed. The Papacy and the People of God, in Koinonia (9:1, Spring 1998).