About Caryn Riswold

Caryn D. Riswold is a feminist theologian in the Lutheran tradition. She is Professor of Religion and also teaches Gender and Women’s Studies at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where she has worked for over a decade teaching undergraduates to think critically and creatively about religion. She earned her Ph.D. and Th.M. from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, holds a master’s degree from the Claremont School of Theology, and received her B.A. from Augustana College in her childhood hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Planned Parenthood Would Serve Mary

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After dismissing the edited videos that pretend to catch Planned Parenthood staffers in a compromising position, Jay Michaelson takes on the issue of fetal tissue donation and points out: “Nearly 20 years ago, the Conservative movement, then the largest movement in American Judaism, ruled that not only is organ donation permitted — it is religiously required. The [Read More...]

Some Good News in Religious Higher Ed

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Over at Religion News Service, Eliel Cruz highlights three Christian colleges who have recently taken steps to be more inclusive of LGBT employees: “Goshen College, Eastern Mennonite University, and Hope College have amended their policies to include employees in committed, monogamous, same-sex relationships. … These changes affect the schools’ nondiscrimination hiring policies, which now lists sexual orientation and, [Read More...]

With Christian Privilege, You Already Have Religious Freedom

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Deny other people rights to (your concept of) the afterlife all you want. But you can’t deny legally decided rights in this life and get away with it. Now that marriage laws protect everyone in the U.S., regardless of gender, the opposition has shifted the force of its energy to what they call protecting religious [Read More...]

Who Are You Reading? Paying Attention to Race & Gender

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To some fanfare, Mark Zuckerberg announced in January that in 2015 he was going to read 26 books. I admit that this news elicited some snark in our house, because we read a lot. And, it didn’t seem to me that 26 books was a lot to read in twelve months. But, I actually don’t [Read More...]

Marriage Musings from SCOTUS to ‘Honey, I’m Good’

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The last paragraph of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges received a fair bit of attention amidst all the rainbow-flag waving in recent weeks: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become [Read More...]

“Blessing Every Love Relation”:: A Pride Month Hymn

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As a conclusion to a remarkable Pride Month, I’m delighted to share “Praise the Source of All Creation,” a hymn written by Rev. Jann Aldredge-Clanton “in celebration of marriage equality and with the hope that justice and love will keep moving from the courts to the hearts of all people everywhere.”  The hymn was written [Read More...]

#Charleston :: Round-Up of Lutheran Voices & Resources

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On June 18, 2015, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton wrote: “It has been a long season of disquiet in our country. From Ferguson to Baltimore, simmering racial tensions have boiled over into violence. But this … the fatal shooting of nine African Americans in a church is a stark, raw manifestation of the sin that [Read More...]

“Holy Impatience” : LGBT Pride Month Litany

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The Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER) regularly publishes rituals written by Diann Neu to honor seasons and events, and this month shares her litany of gratitude in honor of LGBT Pride Month.  I encourage you to use it at events, share with friends, pass on to faithful friends and allies.  Here are some [Read More...]

On Tim Hunt, the Doktorvater & #distractinglysexy Women

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Nobel prize winning biochemist Tim Hunt recently made headlines with his comments at the World Conference of Science Journalists: “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls … three things happen when they are in the lab … You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.” [Read More...]

The Printing Press is Dead. So Buy My Luther Book on Kindle!

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I’ve written here before about events leading up to Lutherans’ commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting the Ninety-Five Theses for debate and discussion in Wittenberg, Germany. In a recent conversation about this anniversary, a colleague pointed out that among the many things we ought to be reflecting on that have (and have [Read More...]


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