Thompson, Deanna A. 1966-

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Thompson, Deanna A. 1966-


Born December 2, 1966; married Neal Peterson; children: Linne, Annika.


Home—St. Paul, MN. Office—Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104-1284.


Writer, theologian, and educator. Hamline University, St. Paul, MN, professor of religion.


Crossing the Divide: Luther, Feminism, and the Cross, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.


Writer, scholar, and theologian Deanna A. Thompson serves as a professor of religion at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. As an educator, Thompson strives to expand and strengthen her students' knowledge and understanding of Christian tradition, but she also explores this material "from the perspective of personal, communal, and contemporary relevance," she stated in an autobiography on the Hamline University Web site. Applying a realistic perspective to her teaching, Thompson recognizes that her students are well aware that religion manifests itself throughout the world not only in "positive, healing ways, but also all-too-often in harmful, destructive, dehumanizing ways, she stated. She addresses these issues directly, and in doing so seeks to convince her students that "religion matters, if not to them personally, then to family members, neighbors, and indeed, to millions across the globe," she remarked. Her classes address a range of topics in theology and religion, including Christian ethics; reformers and revolutionaries who influenced religious practice in areas around the world; African American religious thought and practice; and feminist approaches to Christian ethics.

With Crossing the Divide: Luther, Feminism, and the Cross, Thompson "wishes to reclaim Luther's theology of the cross as a resource for theology today in spite of the concern raised by many feminists that this symbol is inherently violent and oppressive to women," observed reviewer Cheryl Peterson on the Catholic Books Review Web site. Thompson engages Lutheran theology with feminist theology and seeks to find an area of common agreement where both theologies can coexist. Thus, Thompson "though recognizing the misuse of the passion of Jesus Christ in ways that foster abuse and violence, sets out to demonstrate that the cross can and must stand at the center of Christian thinking and existence, and that a theology of the cross—as conceived by Luther—can be appropriated by feminist theology in a way that will contribute to the reformation of oppressive and abusive forms of Christianity, as well as oppressive and abusive social structures," reported David E. Lauber in Modern Theology. In this work, "Thompson has authored a clearly written, richly annotated, and valuable contribution to both theologies," commented Leonard M. Hummell, writing in Currents in Theology and Mission.

"Elegantly written, sensitive to both Protestant and feminist commitments, Crossing the Divide contributes workable approaches to contending with the cross in Christian theology and practice," commented Amy Carr in the Journal of Religion. In the end, concluded reviewer Kirsi Stjerna in Interpretation, Thompson "provides a gentle and intelligent introduction to both Luther and feminist theology that is usable both inside and outside the classroom."



Currents in Theology and Mission, April, 2007, Leonard M. Hummel, review of Crossing the Divide: Luther, Feminism, and the Cross, p. 132.

Interpretation, January, 2006, Kirsi Stjerna, review of Crossing the Divide, p. 112.

Journal of Religion, July, 2005, Amy Carr, review of Crossing the Divide, p. 491.

Modern Theology, April, 2006, David E. Lauber, review of Crossing the Divide, p. 317.


Catholic Books Review, (May 28, 2008), Cheryl Peterson, review of Crossing the Divide.

Hamline University Web site, (May 28, 2008), author profile.

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Thompson, Deanna A. 1966-