Religion

Laura Hobgood-Oster

Professor of Religion

Areas of expertise

Animals in the history of the Christian tradition; human-dog history; contemporary religious-ethical issues related to other-than-human animals; religion and ecology; environmental studies; Ecofeminism; human-animal studies.



 

Dr. Hobgood-Oster is co-chair of the Environmental Studies program and has chaired the Religion program as well. She holds the Elizabeth Root Paden Chair in Religion and Environmental Studies and is a frequently invited lecturer. This year, Dr. Hobgood-Oster coordinated "Back to the Foodture: Sustainable Strategies to Reverse a Global Crisis," the 34th Annual Brown Symposium at Southwestern University.

 


Education

PhD, St. Louis University 1997
M.Div., Vanderbilt University 1989
B.A., James Madison University 1985

Positions

Chair
Environmental Studies Program
December 31, 1969 - present
Dr. Hobgood-Oster has served as Chair of the Environmental Studies program and the Religion and Philosophy Department. She has also served on the University's Faculty Status Committee, the Faculty Governance Task Force, the Faculty Affairs Council and the Academic Affairs Council.

Teaching Philosophy


Courses: Summer 2014

Animals and Religion
Academic Internship

Previous Courses

Animals and Religion, First Year Seminar: Going to the Dogs, Asceticism in Hinduism and Christianity, Seminar in the Christian Tradition: Heretics, Critical Animal Studies


Research

Dr. Hobgood-Oster specializes in the history of animals in the Christian Tradition. She helped found and then co-chaired the Animals and Religion Consultation of the American Academy of Religion (2002-2008). Her overall areas of research include animals in religious traditions and in the history and theology of Christianity; animals in contemporary religious-ethical systems; religion and ecology; environmental studies; ecofeminism, and women in the Christian tradition.

Her most recent publication is The Friends We Keep: Unleashing Christianity's Compassion for Animals (Baylor University Press, 2010). She also wrote Holy Dogs and Asses: Animals in the Christian Tradition (University of Illinois Press, 2008). Dr. Hobgood-Oster's next book, A Dog's History of the World, will be available in 2013.


Professional Work

In addition to her academic publications, Dr. Hobgood-Oster appears in the documentary "Eating Mercifully", distributed by the Humane Society of the United States. For more information, go to the HSUS Animals and Religion website: http://allcreatures.hsus.org/


Publications

The Friends We Keep: Unleashing Christianity's Compassion for Animals, Baylor University Press, forthcoming 2010.

Holy Dogs and Asses: Animals in the Christian Tradition, University of Illinois Press, 2008.

Executive editor, Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature; also entries in this Encyclopedia including "Ecofeminism: Historic and International Developments"

Editor and Introduction, The Sabbath Journal of Judith Lomax, Oxford University Press, AAR Texts and Translations Series


Seminars & Presentations

Dr. Hobgood-Oster has been an invited lecturer at Yale University, Middlebury College, St. Edward's University, Drew University, the Vatican Museums and Lees-McRae College. She has upcoming lectures scheduled at the National Cathedral (October 2012) and the University of Florida (November 2012).

Honors & Awards

Individual Research Grant, American Academy of Religion

Mundy Service Award, Southwestern University

Appointed to Paden Brown Chair in Religion and Environmental Studies, Southwestern University

William Carrington Finch Award, Southwestern University, 2008

Sam Taylor Fellowship


Groups & Affiliations

Animals and Religion Consultation, American Academy of Religion

Forum on Religion and Ecology

American Society of Environmental History


Interests

Dog Rescue with the Georgetown Animal Shelter and Georgetown Animal Outreach