Carol White Portrait

Carol White

(2018-2021) Presidential Professor of Religious Studies
Interim Director of the Griot Institute, Affiliated Faculty in Critical Black Studies
Cross Icon

About Carol White

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., University of Denver, Iliff School of Theology

Research Interests

  • Philosophy of religion
  • Religion and critical theory
  • Process philosophy
  • Religious naturalism
  • Animal and human connections in Western thought

Teaching Interests

  • Philosophy of religion
  • Religious naturalism
  • Theories of religion

Recent Awards

  • Presidential Professor, 2018-21

Selected Publications


White, Carol Wayne. 2016. Black Lives and Sacred Humanity: The Emergence of an African-American Religious Naturalism. Fordham University Press. [Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Titles.]

White, Carol Wayne. 2009. The Legacy of Anne Conway (1631-1679): Reverberations from a Mystical Naturalism. State University of New York Press.

White, Carol Wayne. 2002. Poststructuralism, Feminism, and Religion: Triangulating Positions. Humanity Books.


“Race.” Chapter 8 in Grounding Religion: A Field Guide to the Study of Religion and Ecology. 3rd Edition. Edited by Whitney Bauman, Richard Bohannon, and Kevin J. O’Brien. New York: Routledge,2023:…

“A Poetics of Nature: Religious Naturalism, Multiplicities and Affinities.” In Religion, Materialism and Ecology (Routledge Series in Environmental Humanities). Edited by Peter Scott, Kate Rigby, and Sigur Bergmann. New York: Routledge Press: 2023: 133-150.…

“Planetary Thinking, Agency, and Relationality: Religious Naturalism's Plea.” Chapter 13 in Earthly Things: Immanence, New Materialisms, and Planetary Thinking. Edited by Karen Bray, Heather Eaton and Whitney Bauman. New York, NY: Fordham Press, 2023.

“Capturing the Beauty of Materialism: Black Bodies, Ontic Desires, and Processes of Humanization.” Chapter 14 in 20th-anniversary issue of Terror and Triumph: The Nature of Black Religion. Edited by Anthony Pinn. Minneapolis: MN: Fortress Press, 2022: 243-52. or

“Human, All Too Human?: A Religious Naturalist’s Response to Balthrop-Lewis’ Vision of Thoreau’s Admirable Humanity.” Invited Essay Contributor for Book Forum on Alda Balthrop-Lewis’s Thoreau’s Religion: Walden Woods, Social Justice, and the Politics of Asceticism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2021.) Marginalia (the religion channel of the LA Review of Books): December 9, 2022.

"Black Lives Matter and the New Materialism: Past Truths, Present Struggles, and Future Promises.” In Race, Religion, and Black Lives Matter: Essays on a Moment and a Movement. Edited by Christopher Cameron and Luke Sinitere. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt UP, 2021: 89-124.

"Religious Naturalisms." In Bloomsbury Religion in North America. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021. Accessed August 20, 2021.

"The Process of Animalization, Human Exceptionalism, and The Racialization of Myriad Nature: A Response from Religious Naturalism." Critical Essay in Syndicate’s Symposium on Karen M. Morin’s Carceral Space, Prisoners and Animals (New York, NY, 2018). August 2021.

"Humanism in the Americas." In The Oxford Handbook of Humanism. Edited by Anthony B. Pinn. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020: 1-39.

“Anna Julia Cooper: Radical Relationality and the Ethics of Interdependence.” In African American Political Thought: A Collected History. Edited by Jack Turner and Melvin Rogers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020: 330-363.

“Big Miracle and Religious Naturalism: Rescuing Myriad Nature from Popular Fantasies of Nature Rescue.” In Natural Communions, Reflections on Ecospirituality (Faith in Nature: Religion and Public Life) Volume 40. Edited by Gabriel R. Ricci. NY: Routledge, 2019: 176-192.

“Re-Envisioning Hope: Anthropogenic Climate Change, Learned Ignorance, and Religious Naturalism.” In Zygon: Journal of Science and Religion, Vol. 53, no. 2 (June 2018): 570-595.

"African American Religious Naturalism and the Question of the Human." In Handbook of Religious Naturalism. Edited by Donald Crosby and Jerome Stone. New York: Routledge, 2018: 156-168.

"Polyamorous Bastards: James Baldwin's Opening to a Queer African-American Religious Naturalism." In Unsettling Science and Religion: Contributions and Questions from Queer Studies. Edited by Whitney Bauman and Lisa Stenmark. Lanham, MD.: Lexington Books, 2018: 107-128.

"Stubborn Materiality: African-American Religious Naturalism and Becoming Our Humanity." In Entangled Worlds: Science, Religion, and Materiality. Edited by Catherine Keller and Mary-Jane Rubenstein. Bronx, NY: Fordham University Press, 2017: 249-273.

"Religious Naturalism, Race and Ethnicity." In Grounding Religion: A Field Guide to the Study of Religion and Ecology: 2nd Edition. Edited by Whitney Bauman, Richard R. Bohannon II, and Kevin J. O'Brien. New York: Routledge, 2017: 77-93.

"Black Lives, Sacred Humanity, and The Racialization of Nature, or Why America Needs Religious Naturalism Today." In American Journal of Theology & Philosophy, Vol. 38, No. 3, September 2017: 109-122.

Further Information

Contact Details