Wendy Doniger

Wendy Doniger is Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago.

Stories by Wendy Doniger

How My Book Entered India’s Contest and Conflict Over Hinduism

When publishers in India agreed to stop publishing my book, they helped push the problems of fundamentalist Hinduism to the world stage.

The Battle over Hindu History

For years, some Hindus have argued that the 16th century mosque called the Babri Masjid (after the Mughal emperor Babur) … Continued

All Beliefs Welcome, Unless They are Forced on Others

Belief in god, like getting pregnant, is a private matter between consenting adults (or one consenting adult and one or … Continued

A Politician Taken in Adultery

“Forgiveness” comes in many shapes and sizes, from this sort of politically important, largely ritualized statement from a highly public … Continued

Letting God Off the Hook

In our culture, disasters such as Katrina and 9/11 are often the occasion on which we confront the problem of … Continued

Super-Titles for the Kingdom of Heaven

The controversy about the Latin Mass involves two very different issues, form and content. Both of them could be solved … Continued

A Chaplain for Every Soul

Sure I’d vote for a Pagan (I think I probably already have, quite often), but I don’t think there should … Continued

Hell is Other People; Heaven is Other Dogs

“Are there dogs in heaven?” someone once asked Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of several wonderful books celebrating the pleasures of … Continued

Gods of Peace and Gods of War

Traditionally, war has strengthened faith. “There are no atheists in foxholes,” we say (a cliché against which the official organization … Continued

The Mutual Dream

Surely not only religion but all gods are made by humans, imagined by humans. The Greek philosopher Xenophanes was right … Continued

The Forest-Dweller Stage of Life

In the midst of the great city of Chicago, I live as a forest-dweller. Forest-dwelling is where I am now … Continued

Mormons in the Mythical Mainstream

The problematic “m” word in this week’s question is not “Mormonism” but “mainstream”: If you tell me where the mainstream … Continued

A Good Forgettery

This is one of the most pressing issues of our times, for it applies not only to the recent quasi-scandals … Continued

For Many Religions, Sex Both Blessing and Curse

Sex and religion are joined at the hip. The most interesting distinction is not between religions that say ‘yes’ to … Continued

Sex and Religion: Joined at the Hip

Sex and religion are joined at the hip. The most interesting distinction is not between religions that do and or … Continued

To WHOM It May Concern

The urge to pray, to send out on the great blog in the sky a theological SOS and/or thank-you note, … Continued

The Great Pumpkin Goes to Washington

I don’t care a fig about our next president’s personal religious views. The candidate can worship the Great Pumpkin, for … Continued

Respect For Women Yes, Worship of Goddesses No

Women have fared very badly indeed in religions throughout history, is the short answer. Most large-scale religions, like most aspects … Continued

An Experience of Grace in Nature

Raised as I was by relentlessly secular parents, I was not allowed to have a religion, and used to sneak … Continued