Catherine Wessinger, Ph.D.

Rev. H. James Yamauchi, S.J. Professor of the History of Religions

Catherine Wessinger
Office Location
Room 406, Bobet Hall
Mailing Address
Loyola University New Orleans
Department of Religious Studies
Campus Box 81
6363 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70118-6195
Direct Phone
(504) 865-3182
E-mail Address
wessing@loyno.edu
Personal Website
www.loyno.edu/~wessing

Degrees

Ph.D., History of Religions, University of Iowa, 1985

Short Bio

Catherine Wessinger is the Rev. H. James Yamauchi, S.J. Professor of the History of Religions at Loyola University New Orleans. She is co-director of the Loyola Himalaya Adventure: Summer Study in Dharamsala, India program, in which she teaches "Tibetan and Indian Religions."

Since 2000 Dr. Wessinger has served as co-general editor of Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions published by University of California Press. 

Her articles in journals and chapters in edited books include history of religions and theoretical treatments of women and religion, millennialism, new religious movements, and religion and violence.

Dr. Wessinger has published eight books. She is the author of Annie Besant and Progressive Millennialism (1988); and How the Millennium Comes Violently: From Jonestown to Heaven’s Gate (2000). She is editor of Women's Leadership in Marginal Religions: Explorations Outside the Mainstream (1993); Religious Institutions and Women's Leadership: New Roles Inside the Mainstream (1996); Millennialism, Persecution, and Violence: Historical Cases (2000); and Oxford Handbook of Millennialism (2011). In 2004 she began an oral history project with surviving Branch Davidians. She has edited and published two Branch Davidian autobiographies: Memories of the Branch Davidians: Autobiography of David Koresh's Mother, by Bonnie Haldeman (2007); and When They Were Mine: Memoirs of a Branch Davidian Wife and Mother, by Sheila Martin (2009). Currently, Dr. Wessinger is co-editing a third Branch Davidian autobiography.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to World Religions
  • Contemporary Issues and Conflicts in World Religions (Honors)
  • Women in World Religions
  • Women in Religions and Cultures
  • Women in Christianity
  • Hindu Paths to God
  • Buddhism
  • Tibetan and Indian Religions
  • Religions of Asia
  • Religion and Media
  • Religious Responses to Disaster
  • Millennium Seminar
  • Fundamentals of Conflict and Peace (team-taught)
  • New Orleans Religions: Before and After Katrina (First-Year Experience seminar)

Learn more about Catherine Wessinger, Ph.D.

Publications