Holly Hillgardner Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Morlan Hall, Room 110
Dr. Hillgardner is a teacher-scholar trained in constructive theology, with a particular interest in 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 course for all students.
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.. Her current major project is a comparative theology of pilgrimage, which attends to the lived contexts of pilgrims in Spain and Japan, where she journeyed on sabbatical during 2018-19.
Having always been interested in all things “spiritual,” Dr. Hillgardner found that theology gave her the tools to think critically about the ways that religion forms our worlds.
Ph.D., Drew University (2013)
M.T.S., Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University (2005)
B.A., University of Texas at Arlington (1995)
Areas of Passion & Research
Constructive theology, gender studies and religion, ecology and religion, pilgrimage studies, transformative pedagogy
Traveling, hiking, surfing, reading
Favorite Quote, Book, or Movie … Why?
“The road to enlightenment is long and difficult and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines.”
Anne Lamott, “Traveling Mercies”
She speaks to the serious and fun sides of my personality, and I’m reminded that those aspects of myself can coexist beautifully.