Taylor, Sarah McFarland 1968–

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Taylor, Sarah McFarland 1968–


Born 1968; daughter of Arthur R. (a former television executive and college president) and Marion McFarland (manager of marketing publications at a securities brokerage company) Taylor; married Kevin Charles Looper, May 11, 1997. Education: Brown University, B.A.; Dartmouth University, M.A.; University of California at Santa Barbara, Ph.D.


Office—Department of Religion, Northwestern University, Crowe Hall, 1860 Campus Dr., Evanston, IL 60208-0850. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]


Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, assistant professor of religion, 2000—.


American Academy of Religions (cochair, Religion and Ecology group).


Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship, 2001-2002; Louisville Institute dissertation fellowship; Woodrow Wilson Foundation Career Enhancement Fellowship; Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship; Joseph H. Fichter Award for study of women and religion; Albert C. Clark Prize for work on African American religions.


Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology (nonfiction), Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.

Contributor to This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment, 2nd edition, Routledge (New York, NY), 2004, and to monograph The Struggle for Life: A Companion Volume to William James's The Varieties of Religions Experience, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1995. North American religions editor, Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, Continuum Press (New York, NY), 2002. Contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Theta Kappa and Epochê.


Sarah McFarland Taylor's book Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology had its genesis in her doctoral dissertation, which involved a four-year study of the greening of Catholicism in America, focusing on a group of activist nuns who ran a community-supported farm. Taylor has also made presentations on similar topics, including the work of activist nuns to halt the spread of "Frankenfoods," or foods produced through biotechnology methods.

Green Sisters explores the ways that nuns around the United States have extended the traditional Catholic concern with social justice to include a mission to heal planet Earth and protect its resources. This movement takes many forms, from the use of alternative energy and housing, to the creation of community-supported, organic farms and gardens, to the development of "green" religious ceremonies. At times, the work of these nuns has been misunderstood or interpreted as being contrary to their church, even though they do not see it as such themselves.

"Green Sisters is an academic work of wide-ranging research and mysticism, social justice, feminism, Catholicism, or monasticism," stated Margaret Bullitt-Jonas on the Sojourners Web site. "Green Sisters makes an important contribution both to contemporary American religious history and to women's religious history."



Booklist, March 15, 2007, June Sawyers, review of Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology, p. 6.

Catholic New Times, July 3, 2005, Cristina Vanin, review of Green Sisters, p. 20.

New York Times, May 11, 1997, biographical information about Sarah McFarland Taylor.


American Academy of Religion,http://www.aarweb.org/ (October 2, 2007), biographical information about Sarah McFarland Taylor.

Gainesville.com,http://www.gainesville.com/ (October 2, 2007), Nathan Crabbe, "Ecological Endings: Green Burials Are Catching On."

Northwestern University Department of Religion,http://www.religion.northwestern.edu/ (October 3, 2007), biographical information about Sarah McFarland Taylor.

Science Musings Blog,http://www.sciencemusings.com/ (April 13, 2007), review of Green Sisters.

Sojourners,http://www.sojo.net/ (October 2, 2007), Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, review of Green Sisters.

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Taylor, Sarah McFarland 1968–

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