Faculty Profiles

Anita Houck

Anita M. Houck

Religious Studies and Theology


PhD, University of Chicago
MEd, Harvard University
BA, Wesleyan University

Research Interests 

  • Religion and laughter
  • Spirituality of single life
  • Vocation
  • Pedagogy
  • Inter-religious engagement

Courses Recently Taught 

  • RLST 101: Introducing Religious Studies – World Religions in Dialogue
  • RLST 214: Spirituality and Comedy
  • RLST 380: Interfaith Studies

Professional Experience 

  • I was a parish minister (including Director of Religious Education, RCIA Coordinator, and Pastoral Associate) at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago from 1993-1999
  • Before pursuing my Ph.D., I taught high school Religion and English

Creative and Scholarly Work 

  • Houck, Anita, co-edited with Mary Doak. Translating Religion. Orbis, 2013.
  • You Are Here: Engagement, Spirituality, and Slow Teaching. Becoming Beholders: Cultivating Sacramental Imagination and Actions in College Classrooms, ed. Thomas Landy and Nancy Eifler, Liturgical Press, 2014. (The book has now received three awards.)
  • “Single in the Church.” Human Development 28:4 Winter (2007): 7-16.
  • “God, Humor, and Humanity from The Iliad to The Onion.” Invited lecture, Garaventa Center, University of Portland, April 9, 2015.
  • “Holiness and Humor.” Plenary address, Bi-annual Meeting of the Spirituality Association of South Africa (SPIRASA) and the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality (SSCS), “Holiness: On the Holy, the Holy One, Sanctification and Saints.” St. Augustine College, Johannesburg, South Africa, May 22, 2015.
  • “Speaking through the Impasse: A Bakhtinian Way into Spirituality.” Catholic Theological Society of America, Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 5, 2009.
  • “Ritual among the Scilohtac: Global Catholicism, the Nacirema, and Interfaith Studies,” Journal of Global Catholicism 5, no. 3 (March 2021): 40-63. DOI: 10.32436/2475-6423.1086
  • “Representing Religion: Skills-Based Pedagogy for Graphic Narratives,” with Jennifer Juszkiewicz, Teaching Theology and Religion 22, no. 3 (July 2019)  https://doi.org/10.1111/teth.12493
  • “The Perils and Promises of McMindfulness: On Doing Contemplative Theology Badly,” in “Pedagogical Roundtable: Contemplative Pedagogy: Experiments and Reflections,” in Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society, 46, no. 1 (June 2019): 113-21
  • “Curiosity, Responsibility, Hospitality: Scenes of Interreligious Friendship,” Missiology 47, no. 1 (2019): 45-50
  • “Holiness and Humour,” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies; 72, no. 4 (2016), doi: 10.4102/hts.v72i4.3464

Professional Memberships 

  • Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality
  • American Academy of Religion
  • Catholic Theological Society of America
  • College Theology Society
  • International Society for Humor Studies