Dr. Thompson is a professor of Religion who also teaches classes in African American Studies, Women Studies, and Social Justice. During her twenty years at Hamline, she has been awarded Faculty of the year by faculty and students, and she has also received advising awards. 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 2014. Her newest book, The Virtual Body of Christ in a Suffering World (Abingdon, 2016) focuses on the current digital revolution and its potential for helping us better care for one another in the worst times of our lives. Thompson received a sabbatical grant from the Louisville Institute for her project: “Glimpsing Resurrection: A Post-Traumatic Theology of Cancer” and will be working on this project during the 2016-2017 academic year. Thompson also is active in 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.
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 Thomsen CV