Photo of Lori Pearson

Lori Pearson

Professor of Religion, Religion

Education & Professional History

St. Olaf College, BA; Harvard University, MTS, ThD

Lori K. Pearson (St. Olaf College, B.A.; Harvard, M.T.S, Th.D.), 2003–, is a specialist in the history of Christian theology with particular interests in modern philosophy of religion (especially concepts of God and authoritative knowledge), theories of tradition, and analyses of race and racism in contemporary American theology.  Her research has focused on definitions 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 was the recipient of 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. Her work on gender, religion, and modernity in the thought of Marianne Weber was supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend in 2021.

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.

At Carleton since 2003.

Current Courses

  • Winter 2023
    RELG 220: Justice and Responsibility
    RELG 300: Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion
  • Spring 2023
    RELG 121: Introduction to Christianity
    RELG 329: Modernity and Tradition