"My classes expose students to the rich tapestry of religious diversity on and off campus and give students tools to communicate across difference in their lives after Goucher.”
Professor of American Studies and ReligionCenter for Geographies of Justice
Ann W. Duncan (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is Professor of American Studies and Religion. Her research and teaching focus on intersections of religion and public life including religion and politics, new religious movements, the religious “nones” and motherhood and American Christianity. Dr. Duncan's courses often integrate community-based learning and interfaith dialogue as well as exploration of the religious diversity within the Baltimore, MD area through field work projects and site visits.
Research, Scholarship, Creative Work in Progress
Prof. Duncan is currently completing a book manuscript titled Sacred Pregnancy: Women's Reproductive Health and the Female Spiritual Economy. She recently published an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion titled “Sacred Pregnancy in the Age of the “Nones”.”
The Universe is Indifferent: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives on Mad Men, Ann W. Duncan and Jacob Goodson, eds. (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2016).
Church and States Issues in America Today, 3 vols., Ann W. Duncan and Steven L. Jones, eds. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2008).
Articles and Essays
"Lemons Into Lemonade: Interfaith and Contextualized Pedagogy as Adaptation for 21st Century Higher Education," The Wabash Journal on Teaching (2021).
"Sacred Pregnancy in the Age of the 'Nones,'" Journal of the American Academy of Religion (December 2017).
“The Impossibility of Complacency: Scripture in the Life and Writings of Jane Addams,” Journal of Scriptural Reasoning 14:2 (November 2015).
“Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment: ‘Nones’ and Religious Experience in the Twenty-first Century,” Nova Religio 19:1 (August 2015).
“Motherhood, Faith, Feminism and the Legacy of the 2008 Presidential Election”, Journal of the Motherhood Initiative 5:1, Spring/Summer 2014.
Book Review, Stories from Jonestown. By Leigh Fondakowski. American Studies 53:2 (April 2014).
Book Review, Degrees of Inequality: Culture, Class, and Gender in American Higher Education. By Ann L. Mullen. Teaching Theology and Religion vol. 15:4 (October 2012), 391-393.
Book Review, The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination. By Courtney Bender. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, June 2011 79:523-526.
“Recognizing the Whole Student: Balancing Family and Academia,” co-authored with Shayna Sheinfeld, Religious Studies News, March 2010.
“Religion and Secrecy: A Bibliographic Essay,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 74.2 (June 2006), 469-482.
Book Note, Upon the Altar of the Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War by Harry S. Stout, Virginia Quarterly Review Vol. 82, No. 3 (Summer 2006).
Book and Anthology Contributions
“Jane Addams,” Signs and Wonders: American Philosophers Read Scripture, ed. By Jacob L. Goodson, Fordham University Press, forthcoming.
“Binding Ourselves to the Truth: Quakerism and the Paradox of Liberated Motherhood, Angels on Earth: Mothering in Religious and Spiritual Contexts, Ed. by Vanessa Reimer, Demeter Press, 2016.
“’All the Research Points to the Fact that Mothers Feel Guilty’: Maternal Desire and the Social Construction of Motherhood in Mad Men”, The Universe is Indifferent: Philosophical and Theological Reflections on Mad Men, ed. by Ann W. Duncan and Jacob L. Goodson, Cascade Books, 2016.
“Religious Establishment,” Encyclopedia of Religion in America, ed. by Charles Lippy and Peter Williams, 2010.
“Education: Religious Issues,” Encyclopedia of Religion in America, ed. by Charles Lippy and Peter Williams, 2010.
“Mothers of the Bible,” Encyclopedia of Motherhood, Sage Publications, 2010.
“Religion, Rhetoric and Ritual in the U.S. Government,” Church and State Issues in American Today, Vol. 1, Ann W. Duncan and Steven L. Jones, eds. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2008).
“Religion,” Handbook to Life in America, Book 7: Great Depression and World War II, Golson Books, 2008.
“Charles Grandison Finney” and “Elias Hicks”, Dictionary of Early American Theologians, Thoemmes Continuum, 2008.
External Awards, Honors, Grants
Co-Chair, Religion and Politics Section, American Academy of Religion (2021-2024)
Advisory Board, Center for the Study of Religion and the City
Periclean Faculty Fellow, Project Pericles (2019-2021)
Buildling Professional Capacity for Interfaith Engagement Grant, Interfaith Youth Core (2017-18)
Conference Papers & Panel Participation
"#VibrateHigher: Baltimore Ceasefire, Sacred Ritual, and Remembrance in the Midst of Baltimore's Homicide Epidemic," Comparative Approachs to Religion and Violence and Religion and Disability Studies Unit and Moral Injury Recovery in Religion, Society and Culture Units, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting (November 2020).
"Spiritual Birth Movements and Motherhood as Religious Experience, International Association of Maternal Activism and Scholarship Conference (October 2020).
Panelist, "Curricula and Communities: Encouraging Students to Make a Difference, AAC&U Conference (January 2020).
"Radical Inclusion and Inevitable Exclusion in the Sacred Livign Movement," Ritual Studies Unit and Women and Religion Unit, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting (Novemenber 2019).
"The Sacred Living Movement: Implicit Religion and the Challenge of Cultural Appropriation, " Implicit Religion USA Conference (June 2019).
"Locating the Spiritual but Not Religious," Spiritual but Not Religious Section, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Denver, CO (November 2018).
"Cakes, Playgrounds and New Paradigms of Religious Liberty," Religion and American Law Group, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Boston, MA (November 2017).
Respondent, Sectarianism, Public Perception, and Contemporary Spirituality in the Religious Society of Friends, Quaker Studies Group, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX (November 2016).
Book Review: The Universe is Indifferent: Mad Men, Philosophy, and Theology. Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, New Brunswick, NJ (March 2016).
Constructing New Tents: Case Studies from Scriptural Reasoning and Interfaith Initiatives in the Liberal Arts College, Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, New Brunswick, NJ (March 2016).
From the ‘Mommy Wars’ to the Mother of God: Motherhood, Faith and New Directions in Feminist Scholarship, Panelist for “New Plantings: Emerging Scholars Vision the Future of Feminist Theology and Scholarship”, Women’s Caucus, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA (November 2015).
Childbirth as Religious Performance for Quaker and Mormon Women, Religion and the Body Section, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA (Upcoming, November 2014).
Scriptural Study in the Liberal Arts College Classroom, Scriptural Reasoning Academic Network Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA (November 2014).
Jane Addams and Matthew 16, Scriptural Reasoning Section, Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of the American Academy of Religion, Newburgh, NY (March 2014).
Social Justice and a City in Crisis: Baltimore’s Catholic Charities and Viva House, Religion and Politics Section, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD (November 2013).
Respondant, Proper(ties), Florida State University Religion and Law Conference, Tallahassee, FL (March 2013).
New Paradigms of Social Change: Faith-Based Charities and the Challenge of Same-Sex Marriage Initiatives, Florida State University Religion and Law Conference, Tallahassee, FL (March 2013).
Redefining Religious Experience for the Twenty-first Century: Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E., Religion in America Section, Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of the American Academy of Religion, Baltimore, MD (March 2013)
Respondent, From the Sanctuary to the Senate Floor: Women, Religion and Politics in the South, Ninth Southern Conference on Women’s History, (June 2012)
The Mommy Wars, Mormonism and the ‘Choices’ of American Motherhood, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (November 2011).
Summer Camp and New Paradigms of Sacred Space in New Religious Movements, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (November 2011).
Cherishing the Divine Within: Faith and Social Justice in Baltimore, MD, American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD (October 2011).
Launching a Baltimore College Peace Network: Starting Our Journey Together, Journey Through Service: Passport to Change, 2011 Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Conference, Stevenson University, Baltimore, MD (April 2011).
Motherhood, Faith and the 2008 Presidential Election, Religion and Politics Section, American Academy of Religion 2009 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada (November 2009).
From the Mother of God to the Mommy Wars: Birth and the American Christian Mother, Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion Annual Meeting, Religion in America Section, Chapel Hill, NC, (March 2009).
Homeschooling and the Creation of the Sacred at Home, University of Virginia Graduate Research Exhibition, Charlottesville, VA (April 2007).
Divided Providence: The Civil War as a Turning Point in the American Civil Religion, Christianity and American History Conference, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA (April 2007).
American Civil Religion in a time of Pluralism, American Experiment: Religious Freedom Conference, University of Portland, Portland, OR (April 2007).
Love and Justice in the Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Reinhold Niebuhr, Liberal Theologies Section, American Academy of Religion 2006 Annual Conference, Washington, DC (November 2006).
Prudence, Morality and the Soviet Union: United States-Vatican Relations in World War II, Public Policy, Prudential Judgment and the Catholic Social Thought Tradition, University of St Thomas, Minneapolis, MN (April 2006).
Negotiating the Church/State Divide: The American Peace Society 1828-1900, University of Virginia Graduate Research Exhibition, Charlottesville, VA (April 2005).
Negotiating the Church/State Divide: The American Peace Society 1828-1900, Religious Freedom, Public Life and the State Group, American Academy of Religion 2004 Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas, (November 2004).
"Connecting Faith and Justice: Critical Conversations," Zion Lutheran Church, Baltimore, MD, February 2019.
"Religious 'Nones,' the Church and the Changing Face of Political Activism," The Church of the Redeemer, Baltimore, MD, October 18, 2017.
“Leaning In, Mommy Wars, and the Possibilities of Sacred Motherhood,” Smith-Willson Lecture, Southwestern College, Winfield, KS, January 17, 2017.
The Universe is Indifferent: Theology, Philosophy, and Mad Men Book Launch Party and Panel Discussion, Southwestern College, Winfield, KS, January 18, 2017.
“The Largest Religious Affiliation has None: Disaffiliation and the Future of American Religion,” Morgan State University Fall Colloquia, October, 11, 2016.
Stepping Stones to Awakening: A Study in Comparative Religions, Association for Research and Enlightenment’s New Year’s Young Adult Retreat, Virginia Beach, VA, Dec. 27-31, 2012.
Academic or Professional Associations
American Academy of Religion
International Association for Materanal Activism and Scholarship
Other Professional or Scholarly Activity
Podcast Interview, "Impolite Conversation: Episode 70 - What 6 Years of Imp Convo has Meant," http://impconvo.blubrry.com/impolite-conversation-70/ (2021).
Podcast Interview, "The Thinking Chair,"
Podcast Interview, "Impolite Conversation: Episode #61: Supreme Court Wrap-Up 2020,"
Podcast Interview, "Things Not Seen: The Gospel According to Mad Men - A Conversation with Ann Duncan and Jacob Goodson,"
Podcast Interview, "Impolite Conversation: Episode #49: Supreme Court Wrap-Up 2019," http://impconvo.blubrry.com/impolite-conversation-49 (2019).
Podcast Interview, "Impolite Conversation: Episode #37: Supreme Court Wrap-Up 2018," http://impconvo.blubrry.com/impolite-conversation-37 (2018).
Podcast Interview, "Impolite Conversation: Episode #25: Supreme Court Warp-Up 2017," http://impconvo.blubrry.com/impolite-conversation-25/ (2017).
“The New Normal: Friends, Family Presiding at Weddings,” by Brittany Britto, Baltimore Sun, February 16, 2017, http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/weddings/bs-lt-wedding-officiant-20170219-story.html
Featured Guest, “Living Questions: Native American Religion and the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Mid-day with Tom Hall, WYPR (Baltimore NPR affiliate), November 2016.
Podcast Interview, “Impolite Conversations, Episode 14: Supreme Court Wrap Up,” http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/impolite-conversation-14-supreme-court-roundup-2016/
Podcast Interview, “Impolite Conversations, Episode 9: Paul Hanson’s Book and Antonin Scalia’s Death.” Marginalia Review of Books Radio. http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/impolite-conversation-9-paul-hansons-book-and-antonin-scalias-death/
Podcast Interview, “Impolite Conversations, Episode 2: Supreme Court Wrap Up,” http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/impolite-conversation-2-supreme-court-wrap-up-2015/
On-air Interview, WBFF Baltimore Fox 45 Morning News, August 2, 2013, “The Pope’s Controversial Comments on Homosexuality"
“Divine Rhetoric: God in the Inaugural Address,” by Scott Neuman, National Public Radio “It’s All Politics,” January 22, 2013, text available at www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/01/22/169998659/divine-rhetoric-god-in-the-inaugural-address
“Young ‘Nones’ Set to Transform the Political Landscape,” by Scott Neuman, National Public Radio, “It’s All Politics,” October 9, 2012, text available at www.npr.org/blog/itsallpolitics/2012/10/09/162582670/young-nones-set-to-transform-the-political-landscape