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Religious Studies

Susanna Morrill

Department Chair; Associate Professor of Religious Studies

  • Copyright, Steve Hambuchen

J.R. Howard Hall

Susanna Morrill teaches courses in United States religious history. She received her doctorate in the history of religions from the University of Chicago. Her work in the recent past has focused on how early Mormon women used popular literature in order to argue for the theological importance of their roles in the home, community, and church.


Spring 2020 Courses:

RELS 102: Food and Religion
Susanna Morrill MWF 9:10AM - 10:10AM

Examination of the relationship between food,
American religions, and American popular culture;
how food is incorporated into formal religious
rituals such as the Eucharist or fasting; how
cooking, communal eating, and food practices are
part of the more informal religious culture of
religious communities. Also, consideration of
whether eating and food have taken on religious
meaning within American culture as a whole, using
the Northwest as a focus.

Prerequisites: None.

RELS 253: Prophets, Seekers, & Heretics
Susanna Morrill MWF 11:30AM-12:30PM

Introduction to major themes and movements in
American religious history from colonial origins
to the Civil War. Consideration of Native American
religious traditions, colonial settlement, slavery
and slave religion, revivalism, religion and the
revolution, growth of Christian denominationalism,
origins of Mormonism, using a comparative approach
in the effort to understand diverse movements.
Central themes: revival and religious renewal,
appropriation of Old Testament language by various
groups (Puritans, African Americans, Mormons),
democratization of religion.

Prerequisites: None.

RELS 340: Gender/American Religious Hist
Susanna Morrill MWF 1:50PM - 2:50PM

Gender as a component in religious experiences in
America from the colonial era to the present. The
relationship between gender and religious beliefs
and practices. Religion as a means of oppression
and liberation of women and men. Interactions
between laywomen and male clergy. The intersection
of religion, wellness, the body, and sports.
Diverse movements and cultures including colonial
society, African American culture, immigrant
communities, and radical religious groups.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.


Professor Morrill teaches courses in United States religious history up to 1865; United States religious history, 1865-present; colonial American history; women in United States religious history; the body and health in United States religious history; and a seminar focusing on American religions. These courses reflect her interests in researching women in United States religions and, specifically, in finding women (and men) in American history by looking at non-traditional, popular sources—the places in American culture that women were able to safely create and inhabit.

Academic Credentials

PhD 2002, M.A. 1993 University of Chicago

BA 1989 Bryn Mawr College

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Religious Studies


Susanna Morrill’s office is located in room 228 of John R. Howard Hall.


voice 503-768-7481

Susanna Morrill Department Chair; Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Religious Studies Lewis & Clark 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road MSC 45 Portland OR 97219 USA