Holly Hillgardner
Holly Hillgardner Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Humanities/Religious Studies

Morlan Hall, Room 110


Dr. Hillgardner is a teacher-scholar trained in constructive theology, with a particular interest in Hindu-Christian comparative theology. The author of Longing and Letting Go: Hindu and Christian Practices of Passionate Non-Attachment (Oxford University Press, 2016), she teaches a wide variety of religious studies and philosophy classes at Bethany College, including the required introductory course. Courses in world religions, social justice, and yoga and meditation are among her favorite classes to teach. She co-advises the Religion and Philosophy Club, and her research interests include mystic studies, ecology and religion, interreligious identity, gender studies, and transformative pedagogies. Active in the wider academy, she serves as a board member for the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies. She is currently working on a comparative theology of pilgrimage, which attends to the lived contexts of pilgrims on Christian and Hindu journeys. This project explores pilgrimage as ciphers not just for personal change or growth, but also for societal transformations.

Areas of specialization:
World religions, Christian ethics, gender studies and religion.

Recent publications include:
Longing and Letting Go: Christian and Hindu Practices of Passionate Non-attachment, Oxford University Press, 2016.

“Longing and Letting Go: Lessons in Being Human from Hadewijch and Mirabai,” Comparative Theology: Insights for Systematic Theological Reflection, “Comparative Theology: Thinking Across Traditions” series, ed. Michelle Voss Roberts, Fordham University Press, 2016.

“Between and Beyond Canons: Mirabai and Hadewijch in Relation to Scripture and the Self,” Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies: Vol. 27, Article 5. 2014.

“Spirited Transformations: Pneumatology as a Resource for Comparative Theology,” in Divine Multiplicities: Trinities and Diversities, ed. Chris Boesel, New York: Fordham Press, 2013.

Terminal Degrees:
Ph.D. Theology and Philosophy, with a concentration in Gender Studies, Drew University, 2013
M.T.S. Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University, 2005
B.A. English, University of Texas at Arlington, 1995