Melanie A. Duguid-May

Professor of Theology

Melanie A. Duguid-May teaches and learns theology as discursive and poetic language with which to engage the flesh and blood realities of life, local and global. Rooted in Christian communities and traditions of doing theology, I am committed to paying attention to God as the living God whose creative work continues and who opens possibilities to make ways out of no way. Convinced theology is a morally obligated task, I am committed to investigate where and among whom the doing of theology intersects with political and economic and gender and racial and cultural and ecological dynamics in ways that are life giving or death dealing. Particular foci of courses include: Christian theology as morally obligated community discourse, particularly as articulated worldwide; images and voices of women and gender in Christian tradition; mysticism, community and revolutionary change; earth justice and spirituality (e.g., water is life; pandemic, political ecology, theology, and responses of the faithful; forest spirituality); Kairos as call to repentance and cry of hope, engaging the worldwide movement led by South African and Palestinian Christian voices. Having first lived and studied in Jerusalem and environs in 1975, I have returned often to engage Palestinians, as well as do research and writing. For the last ten years, my colleague Dr. Mark Brummitt and I have led study pilgrimages that feature at once walking where Jesus walked and seeing what Jesus saw: a people—Palestinian Christians and Muslims—living under military occupation.

My publications include many articles, book reviews, chapters, and essays in anthologies, dictionaries, edited volumes, encyclopedias, and journals—academic, ecclesial, and ecumenical, including international—and magazines. I have also authored and edited five books, including Bonds of Unity: Women, Theology and the Worldwide Church (Scholars Press, 1989); A Body Knows: A Theopoetics of Death and Resurrection (Continuum Publishing, 1995); and Jerusalem Testament: Palestinian Christians Speak, 1988-2008 (Eerdmans Publishing, 2010).

I have been part of the teaching and learning community at CRCDS since August 1992. During these years I have served as Dean of The Program for the Study of Women & Gender in Church and Society (1992-2000) and Vice President for Academic Life & Dean of Faculty (2000-2009), as well as Professor of Theology to the present. From 2004 to 2020, I was the John Price Crozer Professor of Theology.

Having grown up in the Church of the Brethren, one of the Historic Peace Churches, I am now an ordained Priest in the Episcopal Church. I serve as Priest-in-Charge (part-time) of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Bath, New York.

With my spouse, I live near Naples, New York, where we cultivate an ancient and indigenous form of farming modeled on a forest, i.e., an organic forest garden, an ecosystem that integrates the care of our dairy goats and ducks, together with our own food needs.

Having earned degrees at Manchester College, IND (B.A. Religion & Peace Studies); Harvard University Divinity School (M.Div.); and Harvard University (A.M., Ph.D.), I also studied at the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches and the University of Geneva (Chateau de Bossey). Manchester University (formerly, college) conferred the degree Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), in 2016.