Carol Anderson

Professor of Religion

Carol Anderson

Phone: 269.337.7353
Office: Humphrey House, Room 107


PhD and MA: History of Religions,
The University of Chicago Divinity School
BA: Religion, University of Puget Sound,
Tacoma, Washington


Carol Anderson joined the faculty at Kalamazoo College in 1993. She teaches in the Religion Department and the program of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and has served as chair of both programs over the years.

Her research interests encompass the religions of South Asia, with a focus on Buddhist traditions and feminist/queer approaches to the study of religions. Her first book was Pain and Its Ending: The Four Noble Truths in Theravāda Buddhism (Curzon Press, 1999), which is a close textual reading of one of the most foundational teachings of Buddhism. She co-edited a festschrift in honor of her Sinhalese Professor W. S. Karunatillake, Embedded Languages: Studies in the Religion, Culture, and History of Sri Lanka (Godage Books, 2012). She has written numerous articles on feminist studies in South Asia, including her most recent research project that explores the range of sexualities found in the commentaries of the Pāli Buddhist canon.

She teaches various courses on Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as the departmental junior and senior seminars. Her courses in theory and method include Feminist Studies in Religion, Same-Sex, Gender, and Religion, and a course on neoliberal economics and travel called Spirituality, Money, and Travel. She also teaches the Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality on a regular basis.

She has served on the national board of the professional organization American Academy of Religion, including a term on the Executive Committee. Locally, she serves on the board of OutFront Kalamazoo. She played a key role in the establishment of the Arcus Center for Social Justice here on campus, (2009-2010).

Selected Publications

  • Editor, Journal of Buddhist Christian Studies (University of Hawaii Press), 2016-present
  • Book Review Editor, Religion (Taylor and Francis), 2017-present
  • “Anger Makes Us Ugly: Reflections from Pāli Buddhism,” Journal of Buddhist Christian Studies (in print, vol. 39, 2019).
  • “Pāli Buddhist and Christian Analyses of Gender,” Journal of Buddhist Christian Studies (vol. 38 (2018), 305-324). With Rebecca J. Manring.
  • “Gender in Pāli Buddhist Traditions,” Gender in Indian Philosophy, edited by Veena Howard (London: Bloomsbury Publishers, in print).
  • “Changing Sex in Pāli Buddhist Texts,” Queer(ing) Paradigms vol. 6 (2016), 231-251.
  • “Regulating Women’s Bodies in Indian Buddhist Literature,” Re-figuring the Body: Embodiment in South Asian Religions, Conference on the Study of Religions of India Series, edited by Karen Pechilis and Barbara Holdredge (Albany: SUNY Press, 2016).
  • “Toward a Post-Colonial Buddhist Ethic of Wealth,” Journal of Buddhist-Christian Studies 33 (2013): 139-152.