• Professor Deanna Thompson

    Deanna Thompson

    Professor, Religion


    Dr. Thompson is a professor of Religion who also teaches classes in African American Studies, Women Studies, and Social Justice. During her almost twenty years at Hamline, in addition to being awarded Faculty of the year by faculty and students, she has also received awards for her advising. A respected scholar in the study of Martin Luther and feminist theology, many of Thompson’s publications—including her book, Crossing the Divide: Luther, Feminism, and the Cross (Fortress, 2004)—focus on bringing Lutheran and feminist theology together in generative ways. Since the publication of her theo-memoir, Hoping for More: Having Cancer, Talking Faith, and Accepting Grace (Cascade, 2012), Thompson speaks and publishes widely on thinking theologically about living with cancer. Thompson is also one of 38 theologians chosen by Westminster John Knox Press to get back to doing what theologians used to do: write commentary on Scripture. Her theological commentary on the book of Deuteronomy was released in spring 2014. Thompson also is an active member of the American Academy of Religion, where she served for eight years on the Board of Directors, six years as Director of the Upper Midwest Region, and six years as co-chair of the Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Program Unit.  

    Teaching Style

    Religion matters: maybe not to you individually, but it matters greatly to societies, to governments, and to billions of people across the globe.It’s also the case that religion matters not just in positive ways but also in harmful and destructive ones. My courses, focused primarily on Christian traditions, critically investigate the history of religion mattering negatively through unjust systems like patriarchy and racism while also considering how religion can matter for good in its embodiment of wisdom, justice and healing. Studying religion together requires not simply good reading and writing skills (although they’re vitally important!) but also a willingness to ask big questions, listen deeply for answers, reexamine what we hold dear and why, and consider how our neighbors’ and classmates’ views impact our own. It’s tough work studying religion, and it’s well worth the effort. Come join us in becoming more informed, educated, and compassionate citizens of the world.

    “As a religion professor, I spend my days talking with others about the really big questions of life. My conversation partners, be they students, colleagues, or members of religious communities, are living those questions, sorting through inheritances, exploring the gaps, striving to be faithful to what they believe to be true. My profession affords me the privilege of getting to talk about faith, suffering, joy, doubt, love, hate, justice, and God in ways that are always informed by the questions, claims and wagers of others. I hope that what gets created helps contribute to greater healing and understanding—of ourselves, our communities, our nation, and our world.”

    -Deanna Thompson

  • Publications

    Deuteronomy: A Theological Commentary on the Bible (Westminster John Knox, 2014)

    Hoping for More: Having Cancer, Talking Faith and Accepting Grace (Cascade Books, 2012)

    Crossing the Divide: Luther, Feminism, and the Cross (Fortress Press, 2004)