Koehlinger, Amy L.

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Koehlinger, Amy L.


Education: Indiana University, B.A., 1991; University of Oregon, M.A. 1996; Yale University, Ph.D., 1998.


Office—Department of Religion, Florida State University, M-05 Dodd Hall, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1520. E-mail—[email protected]


Historian, educator, and writer. Florida State University, Tallahassee, assistant professor of North American religious history, 2002—. Also visiting fellow, Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University, 2003-2004, and Young Scholars in American Religion seminar fellow, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, 2003-2005. Historical consultant for The Sisters of Selma film documentary for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 2004.


American Academy of Religion, American Catholic Historical Association, American Historical Association, American Society of Church History.


Recipient of grants, including Dorothy Mohler Research Grant, American Catholic Research Center and University Archives, Catholic University of America, 2006. Recipient of numerous fellowships, including dissertation fellowship, Institute for Advanced Study of Religion, Yale University, 2000-2001; Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, 2001-2002.


The New Nuns: Racial Justice and Religious Reform in the 1960s, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.

Contributor to books, including Women and Religion in America: Reimagining the Past, edited by Catherine Brekus, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 2007; contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Social History and U.S. Catholic Historian.


Amy L. Koehlinger is a historian whose primary interest is in the history of religion, especially within the United States. Her research focuses on the culture of American Catholicism, historical intersections of religious and social reform in the United States, and the construction of gender within American religious conditions. In her first book, The New Nuns: Racial Justice and Religious Reform in the 1960s, the author examines the involvement of Catholic women, especially Catholic nuns, in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. She focuses primarily on white nuns working in African American communities through a complex network of programs and activities, including teaching in African American colleges in the South and creating programs for children in public housing projects. As a result of their increasing autonomy, Catholic nuns faced institutional misogyny but ultimately helped shape reforms that influenced a post-Vatican II crisis of authority within the Catholic Church. Referring to The New Nuns as "a beautifully written, scholarly but accessible work of archival research and oral history … [that] provides an insightful analysis of the racial apostolate in the early 1960s," Rachelle Linner wrote in her Catholic Online review of the book: "It would be unfortunate if readers ignored this book on the assumption that it was appropriate only for academic theologians or students. While some contributors do write in language that assumes and requires familiarity with theological and ethical concepts, the book's message is critically important to all Catholics."



Catholic Online,http://www.catholic.org/ (July 3, 2007), Rachelle Linner, review of The New Nuns: Racial Justice and Religious Reform in the 1960s.

Florida State University, Department of Religion Web site,http://www.fsu.edu/~religion/ (February 1, 2008), faculty profile of author and author's curriculum vitae.

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