Louise Doire

Emerita Senior Instructor

Louise Doire regularly taught courses in World Religions, Evil & Suffering, Comparative Religious Ethics, Women & Religion, and the Christian tradition.

In her own words
An academic environment for the study of religion may present a very different approach to what students might be accustomed to. Many students learn how to think critically through their courses in religious studies. The critical study of religion begins with understanding the methodology involved. A methodology that combines historical, political, literary, and feminist analyses offers an opportunity for students to move outside the parameters of their cultural limitations; to 'cross over to an appreciation of others' world views and life settings. In my teaching, I make a point of including narratives to illustrate philosophical or theoretical concepts covered in class. I understand the storytelling as operating in much the same way as lab experiments help a science teacher convey abstract concepts more concretely. Analogy works in much the same way. Critical reflection on readings, both primary and secondary sources, allows for the exercise of analytical skills. I have come to appreciate group discussion as a tool for the expression of personal or academic questions and issues that students might raise as a result. In every course, I assign reading material that includes genres other than the traditional textbook, such as. novels, memoirs, and collections of letters. These challenge students to engage in learning that is once again, grounded in the narrative.

Through my study of feminist theology and a general study of the philosophy of religion, I came to understand how vital the critical analysis of religion is for engendering ethical 'ways of being' in the world. When I discovered how intimately the emergence (and continuing development) of a religious tradition may be tied to political, social, and cultural interests, I realized that human influence (and so too, human flaw) in the construction of religion had set up inequities that have become a part of the very fabric of those traditions. The critique of these venues of power offers students opportunities to question those constructions. I approach my own study of religion (and therefore, my teaching), always with an eye to its practical application in the world and not merely for the sake of intellectualism. Religious studies, as a vital part of a general liberal arts education, has the potential for opening a student to the world of the "other" and in that, there is hope for compassion and understanding.


Masters in Divinity, Harvard University
Senior Paper: The Search for Meaning and Stories of the Flesh -- A Critical Analysis of the Pastoral Language of Suffering

B.A., Psychology, University of Rhode Island

Research Interests

  • Theodicy, particularly in the Biblical traditions
  • Comparative religious ethics
  • Feminist critique of religion


Courses Taught


"Altering Landscapes: French-Canadian Catholics and Ethnic-Styled Unionism in Woonsocket, Rhode Island," Decentering Discussions on Religion and State, Sargon Donabed and Autumn Quezada-Grant eds., (New York: Lexington Books, 2015).