Denise Lardner Carmody
Jesuit Community Chair
University Provost

Dr. Carmody was born in Baltimore, MD. She received an A.B. at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland (1958), and an M.A. at Boston College (1966). She had loved philosophy as an undergrad; in particular, questions about epistemology (how people know) led to an abiding interest in comparative religious studies. She pursued that interest by earning a Ph.D. in the philosophy of religion from Boston College in 1970. Love of teaching led her to want to focus on undergraduates, especially those at the beginning of their college careers.

Dr. Carmody joined the Santa Clara University faculty in 1994. Until 2000, she enjoyed both teaching and writing in the areas of women and religion, world religions, mysticism, and Catholic spirituality. Since 2000, she has been University Provost, meaning she is a full-time administrator. Now her professional life centers on making it possible for her university colleagues to focus on student-learning. The same love of students and Santa Clara motivates her work.

  Courses Research Activities CV  


Courses taught at Santa Clara University
  TESP 6 Catholic Theology: Spirituality
  RSOC 9 Ways of Understanding Religion
  TESP 124 Theology of Marriage
  RSOC 192 Mysticism in the World Religions
Academic Appointments
  • Jesuit Community Chair, Religious Studies Department, Santa Clara University
  • Bernard J. Hanley Professor, Religious Studies Department, Santa Clara University
  • Professor, Religious Studies, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK
  • Visiting Professor, Summer Theology Program, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
  • Scholar in Residence, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
  • Theologian in Residence, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA


Research Interests
  • World religions
  • Religion and feminism
  • Christian spirituality

Selected Books
Ways to the Center: An Introduction to World Religions, 5th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2002.
An Ideal Church: A Meditation. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 1999.
Organizing a Christian Mind: A Theology of Higher Education. Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1997.
A Christian Feminist Theology. Oxford: Blackwell, 1996.
La Preghiera nelle Grandi Religioni (Italian translation of Prayer in World Religions). Edizioni Messaggero Padova, 1994.
101 Questions about Feminism. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 1993.
Mythological Woman: Contemporary Reflections on Ancient Religious Stories. New York: Crossroad, 1992.
Selected Articles
"The Catholicity of the Catholic University." Conversations 22 (Fall 2002) 4-9.
"Christian Resources for Feminist Spirituality." Studies in Formative Spirituality 14 (1993) 207-217.
"Less Progress than Spinning of Wheels." The Critic 47 (1992) 49-50.
"Interreligious Dialogue and Commitment." CrossCurrents: Religion & Intellectual Life 41 (3 1991) 4-5.
"Cutting Edges in the Teaching of Religion." Religion & Public Education 18 (2 1991) 213-21.
"Is Academic Life a Scam?" Horizons 18 (1 1991) 74-7.
"Spirituality as Empowerment." Studies in Formative Spirituality 12 (1 1991) 23-33.
Selected Joint Publications, with John Tully Carmody
Serene Compassion: A Christian Appreciation of Buddhism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Corn and Ivy. Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1996.
Mysticism: Holiness East and West. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Christianity, 3d ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1995.
In the Path of the Masters: The Spirituality of Buddha, Confucius, Jesus and Muhammad. Paragon, 1995.
Native American Religion. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Paulist Press, 1993.
Christian Ethics: An Introduction through History and Current Issues. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1993.
The Future of Prophetic Christianity: Essays in Honor of Robert McAfee Brown. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1993.
Original Visions: The Religions of Oral Peoples. New York: Macmillan, 1992.
Ways to the Center: An Introduction to World Religions, 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1992.
The Range of Religion: An Introductory Reader. New York: Macmillan, 1992.
Stories of Eastern Religions. Menlo Park, CA: Mayfield, 1992.
Eastern Ways to the Center. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1992.
Chapters in Books
"Lonergan's Transcendental Precepts and the Foundations of Christian Feminist Ethics." In Lonergan and Feminism (ed. Cynthia S. W. Crysdale; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994) 134-45.
"Homosexuality and Roman Catholicism." In Homosexuality and World Religions (ed. Arlene Swidler; Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1993) 135-48.
"Big-Time Specatator Sports: A Feminist Christian Perspective." In Sport & Religion (ed. Shirl J. Hoffman; Champaign, IL: Human Kenetics Books, 1992) 105-109.
"Chapter Twenty-Six: Liberation Movements Since the Second World War." In Patterns in Western Civilization (ed. James Woelfel and Sarah Trulove; Needham Heights, MA: Ginn Press, 1991) 525-39.
"Contemporary Judaism." In Contemporary Women and World Religions (ed. Arvind Sharma; New York: SUNY Press, 1991).
Encyclopedia Articles
"Native American Spirituality." In The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality (ed. Michael Downey; Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1993) 697-700.
"Papacy." In A New Handbook of Christian Theology (ed. Donald W. Musser and Joseph L. Price; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1992) 342-4.
Awards & Grants
Appointed Jesuit Community Professor, Santa Clara University, 2001.
Madaleva Lecturer at St. Mary's, Notre Dame, IN, 1999.
John Courtney Murray Award for Excellence in Theology given by the Catholic Theology Society of America, June 1995.
Appointed Bernard J. Hanley Professor of Religious Studies, Santa Clara University, 1994.
Invited participant in the International Jewish-Christian-Muslim Scholars Dialogue in Jerusalem, 1993.
Invited participant in the International Jewish-Christian-Muslim Scholars Dialogue in Graz, Austria, 1992.
Visiting Professor, Summer Theology Program, University of San Francisco, 1991.
Outstanding Teacher Award, The University of Tulsa, 1991.


Professional Memberships
  • American Academy of Religion
  • Catholic Theological Society of America
Frequent book reviews for America.
Manuscript reviews for several publishing houses.

Denise Lardner Carmody

Walsh 204
tel. (408) 554-4533
fax. (408) 551-6074

Religious Studies Dept.
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA  95053

Santa Clara University Religious Studies Department