- Th.D. (1996) from Harvard Divinity School (Cambridge, MA) Topic: Religion, Gender, and Culture
- M.T.S. (1989) from Harvard Divinity School (Cambridge, MN) Topic: Christianity and Culture
- B.A. (1986) from College of St. Benedict (St. Joseph, MN) Major: Humanities Minor: Theology
- Engaged Buddhism and Mindfulness Practice (Critical Inquiry Seminar)
- Religion in the Context of Personal and Social Transformation (Critical Inquiry Seminar)
- Women in Religious History
- Christianity and Religious Diversity
- American Religion
- Introduction to Women's Studies
- Religion and the Body
- God the Question and the Quest
- Understanding Religion
- Religion and Popular Culture
- Women and Religion
- Religion and Culture; Religion and Social Issues
- Religion and the Body
- Historical Theology
- Introduction to Christianity and Religious Diversity
- Liberation, Feminist, and Postcolonial Theology
Review of Lynn Gerber’s book Seeking the Straight and Narrow: Weight Loss and Sexual Reorientation in Evangelical America (University of Chicago Press, 2011) for Religion and Gender: Online Journal for the Systematic Study of Religion and Gender in an Interdisciplinary Perspective (Forthcoming, Fall 2012)
“The Religion of Thinness: Analysis of a Cultural Religion,” in Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis Volume 23: Religion and the Body, edited by Tor Ahlbäck and Björn Dahla and published by the Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History, Abo, Finland (Spring 2011).
"Embodied Contemplative Learning: Aikido as a Case Study," in Meditation in the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy in Religious Studies, edited by Fran Grace and Judith Simmer-Brown (Suny Press, 2011)
"It's Not Just about Me": BREWing the Concordia Curriculum by Cultivating Wisdom and Compassion," in Making BREW Matter: A Curriculum for the 21st Century, edited by Dawn Duncan and Gregg Muilenberg (Concordia College, Moorhead, MN: 2010), 8-19.
"Concordia's Upper Division Religion Requirement: Fostering Intellectual Exploration, Self-Knowledge, and Responsible Engagement in the World through Embodied/Engaged Pedagogy," in Making BREW Matter: A Curriculum for the 21st Century, edited by Dawn Duncan and Gregg Muilenberg (Concordia College, Moorhead, MN: 2010), 100-116.
The Religion of Thinness: Satisfying the Spiritual Hungers beneath Women's Obsession with Food and Weight. (Gürze Books, 2010)
"Embodied Contemplative Learning: Aikido as a Case Study," in Meditation in the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy in Religious Studies, edited by Fran Grace and Judith Simmer-Brown (Suny Press, forthcoming)
"Spreading the Religion of Thinness from California to Calcutta: A Postcolonial Feminist Analysis," in The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 25:1 (April 2009): 19-42.
"Embodying Learning: Post-Cartesian Pedagogies and the Academic Study of Religion," in Teaching Theology and Religion, (April 2009): 123-136.
"Religious Diversity: Challenges and Opportunities in the College Classroom," in Diversity and Democracy (Winter, 2008), a publication of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Redefining Womanhood(?): Gender, Power, and the "Religion of Thinness." Anthropology of Food Journal (Spring 2006).
"The Violence of ‘Perfection': Power, Images, and the Female Body in American Popular Culture," in The Subjective Eye: Essays in Culture, Religion, and Gender, eds. Richard Valantasis and Janet Carlson (Edwin Mellin, 2006).
Starving for Salvation: The Spiritual Dimensions of Eating Problems among American Girls and Women. (Oxford University Press, 1999).
"Losing Their Way to Salvation: Women, Weight-Loss, and the Salvation Myth of Culture Lite," in Religion and Popular Culture in America, eds. Bruce Forbes and Jeffery Mahan, (University of California Press, 1999).
"Liberating Learning and Deepening Understanding: Reflections on Feminist Pedagogy -- as a Student, as a Teacher," in the Journal of the Center for Women and Religion, Volume 17 (Winter 1999).
"Fulfilling Femininity and Transcending the Flesh: Traditional Religious Beliefs and Gender Ideals in Popular Women's Magazines," in Journal of Religion and Society, an online journal published by the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at Creighton University, Volume 1 (Summer 1999).
"From Superstition, to Enlightenment, to the Race for Pure Consciousness: Anti-Religious Currents in Popular and Academic Feminist Discourse." Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Volume 14, no. 3 (Fall, 1998).
"Nudity." Encyclopedia of Women and World Religions, edited by Serenity Young. Macmillan Publishing (1998).
"The Benefits of Embodied Contemplative Learning: Aikido as A Case Study," paper presented at the Heart of Higher Education Conference in Amherst, MA April 2009.
"From California to Calcutta: Spreading the White-Western Devotion to Female Thinness -- A Feminist Postcolonial Analysis," with Emma Hoglund and Jenna McNallie (student co-researchers), a paper to be presented at the annual American Academy of Religion Conference in San Diego, CA November 2007.
"Embodying Learning: Post-Cartesian Pedagogy and the Academic Study of Religion," a paper presented at the annual American Academy of Religion conference in Washington, D.C. November 2006.
"The Spiritual Dimensions of Eating and Body Image Conflicts in the Clinical Setting," a paper co-presented with Cissy Brady-Rogers at the Thirteenth Annual Renfrew Center Foundation Conference: "The Changing Face of Eating Disorders: Feminist Perspectives," Philadelphia, PA, November 2003.
"Leg-lifts, Calories, and Other Spiritual Matters: Third Wave Feminism and an American Religion of the Body." Paper presented at the annual American Academy of Religion conference in Denver, CO, November 2001.
"Too Busy to Breathe: Negotiating the Boundaries between Life and Work." Paper presented at the national teleconference "Women's Lives, Women's Voices, Women's Solutions: Shaping a National Agenda for Women in Higher Education," Minneapolis, MN, March 2000.
"Facing Food: Denial of Health and Spirituality." Paper presented as part of the Keynote Panel of the "Soul 2 Soul II: Women, Spirituality, and Health" conference, sponsored by the Center for Women & Religion, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA, October 2000.
"Fulfilling Femininity and Transcending the Flesh: Traditional Religious Beliefs and Gender Ideal in Popular Women's Magazines." Paper presented at the annual American Academy of Religion Conference, Orlando, FL, November 1999.
"Losing Their Way to Salvation: Women, Weight-loss, and the Soteriology of ‘Culture Lite.'" Paper presented at the international "After the Body" conference, Manchester, England, June 1998.
"Models of and for Womanhood: Popular Iconography of Femininity." Paper presented at the Upper Midwest regional American Academy of Religion conference in St. Paul, MN, April 1998.
"From Superstition, to Enlightenment, to the Race for Pure Consciousness: Anti-Religious Currents in Popular and Academic Feminist Discourse." Paper presented at the annual American Academy of Religion conference in Philadelphia, PA, November 1995.
"The Good, the True, the Beautiful Female Body: The Politics of Representation in Media Culture's 'Model' Women." Paper presented at the annual American Academy of Religion conference, Washington DC, November, 1993.
PUBLIC INTERVIEWS (Related to the publication of The Religion of Thinness)
Online Interview with Ellen Schuman, Founder of "A Weigh Out," an on-line community for people recovering from Binge Eating Disorders (Jun 14, 2011)
PsycheCentral interview with Mararita Tartakovsky, MS. Q & A on Weightless. "Michelle Lelwica on How the Pursuit of Thinness Has Become a Religion" (a three parts interview) June 2010
PsycheCentral interview with Mararita Tartakovsky, MS. Q & A on Weightless "How Mindfulness Can Boost Your Body Image: Q & A with Michelle Lelwica"(a three parts interview) October 2010
Mercurial interview with Amanda Bloom (editor of Greater Danbury's new, arts, and entertainment) December 2010
"Hope and Healing," with John Shorb, [http://www.hopeandhealing.org/] (October 2009). This interview was featured on the front of Hope and Healing newsletter (January 2010)
"Strategies for Living," with David McMaillian, [http://www.strategiesforliving.com/] (November 2009)
"The Women's File," with Emily Schievert [http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Scheivert_Emily_486105011.aspx] (November 2009)
"Interfaith Voices," with Laura Kwerel, [http://www.interfaithradio.org/] (November 2009)
"Voice America," with Kathryn Zox [http://www.modavox.com/voiceamerica/vshow.aspx?sid=1444] (November 2009)
CNN Radio with Pat St. Claire [http://www.cnn.com/CNN/anchors_reporters/st.claire.pat.html] (December 2009)
KDKA Amplify (Catholic) Radio with Fr. Ron Lengwin [http://radiotime.com/program/p_28042/Amplify.aspx] (December 2009)
SHORT ARTICLES (Related to the publication of The Religion of Thinness)
"Religion of Thin," Science and Religion Today (November 12, 2009)
"Thinness and Salvation," Washington Post: (October 30, 2009)
"Images of God and Body Image," in the Public Square Forum of Patheos (January 2010) http://www.patheos.com/Public-Square.html
Blogs for Psychology Today
Blogs for the Huffington Post
INVITED LECTURES, WORKSHOPS, TELECONERENCES, AND PANEL PARTICIPATION
“Challenging the Religion of Thinness and Affirming the Beauty of Women’s Bodies: Parts I & II,” two invited Keynote Lectures for the Annual Helen Barrett Montgomery Conference at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Colgate, NY (forthcoming: November 2012)
“America’s Obsession with Thinness: From Collusion to Critique,” invited lecture sponsored by the Women’s Studies Department at Saint Mary’s College of California, Moraga, CA (November, 2011).
“Peace on Earth—Starting from Within,” invited public lecture delivered at the first annual Fargo-Moorhead Yoga Festival (September , 2011)
“‘Where Are You Going?’: The Promise of Contemplative Learning for Keeping the Humanities Alive and Relevant,” a “Response” to Martha Nussbaum’s book Not for Profit, delivered to Concordia faculty and administrators at the “Fall Opening Workshop” (August 2011)
“Why Dieting is a Losing Battle: Toward a More Holistic Approach to Health,” invited lecture sponsored by the San Diego Chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals, San Diego, CA (February 2011). A version of this lecture was presented to students, faculty, and staff at Iowa State University in Ames, IO (February, 2011)
“Challenging the Religion of Thinness,” Concordia College’s Religion 100 Enrichment Lecture, delivered at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN (November 2010)
“The Religion of Thinness: Analysis of a Cultural Religion,” invited keynote lecture at the “Religion and the Body Symposium,” sponsored by the Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History, Abo, Finland (June 2010). This lecture was published in the Symposium’s proceedings (see above).
“Relinquishing the Crusade for Thinness and Practicing Peace with Your Body,” invited lecture given at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND (March, 2010).
“Challenging the Religion of Thinness,” invited lecture presented at Morningside College, Sioux City, IO (October 2006).
“Indulge and Refrain: The Logic of Capitalism in the Religion of Thinness,” invited lecture presented at the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN (March 2006).
“Deconstructing the Myth of Thinness: Cultural Critique as Spiritual Practice,” invited lecture given as part of the “Girl Culture Lecture Series” at the Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center in Moorhead, MN (January 2006).
“Challenging the Religion of Thinness: What Christians Can Learn from the Jewish Tradition,” invited lecture presented at the Jay Phillips Center for Jewish-Christian Relations, College of St. Benedict (October 2002).
“Postmodern Spirituality and the Faith of College Students,” invited lecture presented to the Sisters of Mount St. Benedict, Crookston, MN (October 2002).
“The Power of Knowledge: Women’s Studies as An Intellectual Path and A Spiritual Journey,” invited lecture presented in honor of Women’s History Month, St. Mary’s College of California (March 2002).
“The Spirituality of the Body,” invited lecture presented at Princeton Theological Forum for Youth Ministry, Princeton University, NJ (May 2001).
“The Ritualization of the Female Body: Women’s Weight-Loss Practices,” invited lecture presented at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA (March 2001).
“Secular Icons of Womanhood: A Critique of Media Images of Women,” invited lecture presented to the Lamorinda chapter of NOW (National Organization of Women). Dublin, CA (February 2001).
“Body-Hatred as A Spiritual Crisis and Social Disease,” invited lecture presented to students, faculty, and staff at the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, MN (February 2001).