Race, Religion, Gender, and Multidisciplinary Studies

Dr. Amy Carr, Professor of Religious Studies

Amy Carr

Ph.D., University of Chicago; M.Div., Vanderbilt, B.A., Carleton
Graduate Program Director/Advisor

Download Curriculum Vitae (.docx)

Contact Info

Office: Morgan Hall 203A
Phone: (309) 298-2214
E-mail: AR-Carr@wiu.edu to arrange an appointment.

Office Hours: Please contact Dr. Carr for the current semester's office hours.


Christian Theology, Biblical Interpretations, History of Religions

In college I began as an English major, since I've always loved the way words and images can open up the imagination and allow us to perceive what we might not otherwise notice.  But the poetic and symbolic power of language is very much at work in all religious traditions--in their scriptures or songs, their rituals and devotional practices. Once I began to take courses in the academic study of religion, I quickly realized that the vocabulary for thinking about what I most wanted to think about was more readily found in religious studies. In this context I could learn about how various religious traditions of the world have developed their thinking about God or ultimate reality, creation, human nature, suffering and redemption, time seen in light of eternity.

My scholarly work is largely focused on contributing to the ongoing development of Christian thought. I am especially interested in reflecting theologically on the unsettling experiences of God that persons often experience after a traumatic or profound betrayal at the hands of other persons (like sexual abuse or domestic violence). Towards that end, I am at work on a book called Facing Divine Affliction: A Lutheran Theodicy for the Sinned Against. It is part of an emerging series of Lutheran reconstructions of doctrine. I have also co-written a book with Christine Helmer that is coming out this fall:  

Ordinary Faith in Polarized Times: Justification and the Pursuit of Justice

Minoring in religion draws you into an interdisciplinary approach to learning, engaging you in the study of history, ritual studies, theology, theories and practices of interpreting sacred texts, ethics, and social scientific explanations for religious behavior. Whatever your interests in the study of religion, you'll grow to see religion as a cultural phenomenon through a variety of lenses.

Classes Offered

  • REL 107 - The Bible
  • REL 111 - Introduction to Western Religions
  • REL 180 - Religion and Drugs
  • REL 360 - Christianity
  • REL 370 - Judaism
  • REL 380 - Jesus
  • REL 452 - Theology
  • REL 460 - The Bible and Current Issues