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Dr. Courtney Wilder

Courtney Wilder is Assistant Professor of Religion at Midland University. She holds a B.A. in philosophy and classics from the University of Montana (Missoula, Montana), and an M.A. in religious studies and Ph.D. in systematic theology from The University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois). She has taught at Midland since 2008 and was a nominee for Midland’s Excellence in Teaching award in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

She teaches in the areas of Christianity, philosophy, and Bible. Her interests include the work of mid-twentieth-century Protestant theologian Paul Tillich, contemporary interpretations of the Bible, and theologies of the body, including feminist, womanist, liberation, and disability theologies. She has written on the Lutheran Sankta Lucia tradition and on the relationship between music and contemporary Christian practice, and she is currently engaged in research on points of intersection between Tillich’s thought and disability theology, and has published and presented numerous scholarly papers on disability theology. She frequently speaks to churches and other groups, including the Wild Women Retreat hosted by Lutheran Outdoor Ministries at Camp Carol Joy Holling.

She recently served as President of the North American Paul Tillich Society, and organizes the Systematic Theology and Philosophy of Religion sections of the Upper Midwest American Academy of Religion meeting. She was a participant in the 2011 Lutheran Academy of Scholars Summer Seminar during which she continued her work on Tillich and disability theology.

In addition, she has long been engaged in activism on issues affecting women, especially mothers and children, most recently as a board member of the Crisis Center in Fremont, Nebraska, and as a moderator of the religious studies forums at Mothering.com. She is a member of Augustana Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Omaha, Nebraska, and lives in Omaha with her family.

Courses Taught at Midland University

  • Introduction to the Old Testament
  • Introduction to the New Testament
  • Contemporary Christian Theology
  • Lutheranism
  • What is Religion? Who is God?
  • Critical Thinking
  • Christianity and Human Sexuality
  • Christianity as Religion
  • Lutheranism
  • Jesus and the Prophets
  • Women and the Bible
  • Philosophy of the World
  • Development of Christian Thought
  • Gender and Transgender

Select Conference Papers and Presentations

  • “Love of self and love of bodies: phenomenology of embodiment via style blogs by women with disabilities,” Presented at the 2012 American Academy of Religion Meeting, Religion and Disability Studies Group section, Chicago, Illinois, November 2012.
  • “The Courage to Be ... a dirty little freak: Tillich, Pink, and Gaga.” Presented at the 2012 American Academy of Religion Meeting, Religion and Popular Culture Group section, Chicago, Illinois, November 2012. 
  • “Tillich and Intellectual Disability: Adequacy of Accounts of Faith,” Presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the North American Paul Tillich Society, an additional session of the American Academy of Religion Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, November 2012.
  • “Identity, Disclosure, and Teaching: is too much not enough?” Presented at the Pacific Northwest American Academy of Religion Meeting, Portland, Oregon, May 2012. 
  • “When Fritz the Cat Meets the Bible: Reading R. Crumb’s ‘The Book of Genesis, Illustrated.” Presented at “The King James Bible and Its Cultural Afterlife” conference, Columbus, Ohio, May 2011.
  • “On Christ and Healing: Eiesland, Tillich, and Disability Theology.” 2010 American Academy of Religion meeting, at the Religion and Disability Studies Group section, Atlanta, Georgia, October-November 2010.
  • “Teaching and Tattoos: Religious Self-Expression and New Technology.” Co-author, Lisa Hettinger. Presented at the Great Plains American Academy of Religion Meeting, Omaha, Nebraska, April 2010.
  • “Indie Music for Jesus: Examining the Intersection of Hipsters and Christianity.” Co-author, Dr. Jeremy Rehwaldt. Presented at the Great Plains American Academy of Religion Meeting, Omaha, Nebraska, April 2010.
  • “Tillich, Augustine, and Pauline Hermeneutics.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the North American Paul Tillich Society, an additional session of the American Academy of Religion Meeting, Montreal, Canada, November 2009.
  • “What (If Anything) Does the Gospel Have to Do with Skinny Jeans, Irony, and Indie Bands? Christians in the Hipster Subculture.” Co-author, Dr. Jeremy Rehwaldt. Presented at the Association of Lutheran College Faculty conference, Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 2009.
  • “From ‘It Happens’ to ‘God Makes No Mistakes’: Theodicy in Country-Western Music.” Presented at the Midwest American Academy of Religion Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, April 2009.
  • “Reading Martin Luther King as a Tillichian: The Courage to Be and I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the North American Paul Tillich Society, an additional session of the American Academy of Religion Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, October 2008.
  • “Lucia and Redemption: Martyrdom, Hope, and a Theology of Suffering.” Co-authored with Rev. Elizabeth Musselman. Presented at the Lutheran Women in Theological and Religious Studies meeting, an additional session of the American Academy of Religion Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, October 2008.
  • “The Hidden God in Tillich’s Preaching: How World War I Transformed the Account of God in Tillich’s Sermons.” Presented at the Midwest American Academy of Religion Meetings, Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, 2008.
  • “Recovering Lucia: From Sicilian Martyr to Contemporary Protestant Figure.” Co-authored with Rev. Elizabeth Musselman. Presented at the Midwest American Academy of Religion Meetings, Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, 2008.
  • “Bultmann, Heidegger and Freedom: Respective Accounts of Self.” Presented at the Upper Midwest American Academy of Religion Meetings, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, 2008.

 

Recent Publications

  • “Eisland, Tillich and Theology of Healing,” Dialog: A Journal of Theology, Volume 51, Number 3, pp. 202-211
  • “What Makes Music Christian? Hipsters, Contemporary Christian Music, and Secularization.” Co-authored with Dr. Jeremy Rehwaldt. Chapter in Understanding Religion and Popular Culture, edited by Dan Clanton Jr. and Terry Clark. Forthcoming from Routledge, 2012.
  • “Christians in the Hipster Subculture: What does the gospel have to do with skinny jeans, irony, and indie bands?” Co-authored with Dr. Jeremy Rehwaldt. Lutheran Education Journal 143, no. 2 (2010): 112-120
  • “Tillich, Augustine, and Pauline Hermeneutics.” Bulletin of the North American Paul Tillich Society 36, no. 1 (Winter 2010):11–17.
  • “Sacred and Sartorial.” Sightings (an online publication of the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago), January 13, 2010.
  • “Running as a Feminist Pursuit.” Minnesota Women’s Press, October 1, 2009.
  • “Reading Martin Luther King as a Tillichian: The Courage to Be and I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” Bulletin of the North American Paul Tillich Society 35, no. 1 (Winter 2009):25–31.
  • “Tillich as Preacher.” Sharing the Practice 30, no. 4 (Winter 2007):8–10, 15.