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Professor of Theology and Past Principal

BA Calvin College, 1998
MTS Candler School of Theology, Emory University, 2002
PhD Emory University, 2006

Contact
Tel: (416) 585-4588
Email: michelle.vossroberts@utoronto.ca  

Website: www.michellevossroberts.com

An expert in comparative theology, with a particular focus on Christian and Hindu contexts, Michelle Voss Roberts has written widely about aesthetics, gender and embodiment. Her teaching integrates the study of Christian theological traditions with theories of gender and sexuality, disability studies, and religious pluralism.

Among her numerous scholarly publications are several ground-breaking books: Dualities: A Theology of Difference (2010), Tastes of the Divine: Hindu and Christian Theologies of Emotion (2014), and, most recently, Body Parts: A Theological Anthropology (2017). She has also edited of a volume of essays for the introductory theology classroom, Comparing Faithfully: Insights for Christian Systematic Theology (2016). She is the recipient of grants and prizes from institutions including the American Academy of Religion, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies.

Voss Roberts began her career at Rhodes College, where she was an assistant professor of religious studies from 2006 to 2011. From 2011 to 2018, she taught theology at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. She served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the School’s chief academic officer, from 2015 to 2018. In this role, she contributed to changes in the curriculum to highlight issues of race and class, gender and sexuality, and religious pluralism. In 2017-2018, she culminated eight years of service with the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies as its president.

Voss Roberts was the 13th principal of Emmanuel College (2018-21) and the first woman to lead the institution as Principal in its 90-year history. She is also an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, a denomination in full communion with the United Church of Canada. She led the school through a consolidation of its multireligious programs, a period of significant faculty renewal, and the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Voss Roberts, her spouse, Brian Roberts, and their daughter love classical music, hiking, and their golden retriever. They live in the East Danforth neighbourhood in Toronto.

Selected Publications

Books

The Handbook of Hindu-Christian Relations (editor with Chad Bauman) (London and New York: Routledge, 2020).

Body Parts: A Theological Anthropology (Fortress Press, 2017).

Comparing Faithfully: Insights for Christian Systematic Theology (editor) (Fordham University Press, 2016).

Tastes of the Divine: Hindu and Christian Theologies of Emotion (Fordham University Press, 2014). Awarded the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in Constructive/Reflective Studies (2015).

Dualities: A Theology of Difference (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010). Named Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies—Theology/Philosophy (2008-2011). 

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

“More than Meets the Eye: The Cross as Maṇḍala.” In Atonement in Comparative Theology: The Cross in Dialogue with Other Religions, ed. Catherine Cornille, 130-148. New York: Fordham University Press, 2021.

“'We Have Been Practicing for This': Interfaith Engagement Reshaping Theological Education. In Deep Understanding for Divisive Times: Essays Marking a Decade of the Journal of Interreligious Studies, ed. Mary Elizabeth Moore, Axel Marc Oaks Takacs, and Or N. Rose, 103-108. Orleans, MA: Paraclete Press, 2020.

“Comparative Moments: A Comparative Theological Orientation for Theological Education,” Religious Education (2020). 

“Practicing the Image of God: Why Ritual Can Retrain the Elephant,” Journal of Interreligious Studies (2020): 6-18.

“Kenotic Gestures: Comparative Aesthetics and the Feminist Debate on Kenōsis,” Interreligious Studies and Intercultural Theology 3.1-2 (April 2019).

“‘Let the Sacred Be Redefined by the People’: An Aesthetics of Liberation Across Religious Lines.” With Demi “Day” McCoy. In The Arts and Witness in Multifaith Contexts, ed. Roberta R. King and William A. Dyrness. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2019.

“Discerning Doctrine: Interreligious Dialogue as Experiential Source of Theology.” In The Past, Present & Future of Theologies of Interreligious Dialogue, ed. Terrence Merrigan and John Friday, 124-144. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

 “Aesthetics in Hindu-Christian Studies: A Theological Framework,” Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies 28 (2015): 3-10.

 ‘“Who Is My Good Neighbor?’ Classical Indian Dance in the Prophetic Work of the Church,” Exchange 41.2 (2012): 103-119.

“Fear and Women’s Writing: Choosing the Better Part.” In Women, Writing, Theology: Transforming a Tradition of Exclusion, ed. Emily A. Holmes and Wendy Farley (Baylor University Press, 2011), 11-32.

 “Power, Gender, and the Construction of a Kashmir Śaiva Mystic,” Journal of Hindu Studies 3.3 (2010): 279-297.

“Religious Belonging and the Multiple,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 26.1 (2010): 43-62.

 “Gendering Comparative Theology.” In The New Comparative Theology: Voices from the Younger Generation, ed. Francis X. Clooney (New York: Continuum, 2010), 109-128.

Memberships & Ecclesial Affiliations

Ordained Minister of the United Church of Christ

American Academy of Religion

Society for Hindu-Christian Studies, Past President

Selected Courses

EMT 1101 Introduction to Theology

EMP 1600 Multi-religious Theological Education and Leadership

EMT 3680/6680 Intersectional Feminist Theologies

TSJ 5005 Summer Seminar: On Value and Valuing