Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Elizabeth Agnew received her PhD in Religious Studies in 1999 from Indiana University, MA degrees in Religious Studies and History from Indiana University, and a BA in History from Brown University. Professor Agnew’s teaching and research address topics related to religious diversity in American culture, religion and social ethics, and gender and religion.
In her teaching, Professor Agnew seeks to help students think critically about the construction of religious identities amidst broader cultural dynamics. She teaches “Introduction to Religion in Culture” and “Religion, Morality, and Public Debate” in the core curriculum. Current upper-level courses include “Religion, Diversity, and American Public Life,” “Religion, War, and Peace,” and “Religion, Philanthropy, and Pluralism.”
Professor Agnew has published her research on traditions of religious charity and the new social sciences in From Charity to Social Work: Mary E. Richmond and the Creation of an American Profession (Illinois, 2004), named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2005. Other articles on Mary Richmond appear in Gender and the Social Gospel (Illinois, 2003); Locus Soci@l: Journal of Social Work, Social Policy & Society (2010); and American National Biography (2015). Her research on American peace activist Jane Addams is published in “Meeting Needs, Promoting Peace: Jane Addams and Her 21st Century Counterparts” (Soundings, 2007) and “Jane Addams, World War I, and ‘Practical Pacifism’” (Peace & Change, forthcoming). She has also authored “Needs and Nonviolent Communication in the Religious Studies Classroom” (Teaching Theology and Religion, 2012) and “Can You Hear Me Now? The Element of Listening in Positive Peace,” in Nonviolence: Critiquing Assumptions, Examining Frameworks (K. Gray Brown and Michael P. Brown, eds., Brill, forthcoming).
From 2012-2015, Professor Agnew participated with a team of Ball State faculty in a U.S. State Department-funded partnership with Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan to advance the American Studies graduate program at QAU’s Area Study Center. She has been a recipient of two NEH summer fellowships addressing religious and cultural diversity in India (New Delhi, 2013) and in the United States (Boston College, 2007). She has received additional support for her research and teaching from the American Association of University Women, the Free University of Berlin, the Catholic University of Portugal, and the Dar al Islam Institute.