Mary Keller

Academic Professional Lecturer, Sr.



B.A. Williams College 1987; M.A. Syracuse University 1992; Ph,D. 2002.

Fellow, Westar Institute, God and Human Futures Seminar

Adjunct: Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources: Member WyACT

Mary Keller works at the intersection of feminist theory, postcolonial theory, and indigenous studies theory in order to study the relationship of religious lives to struggles for meaning and power.  She teaches Introduction to World Religions, African Spirits in the New World, African American Religious Culture, and Gilgamesh to the Bomb. Keller  emphasizes the geographical, historical and social context in which religious lives are embedded and then focuses on questions of personhood within religious traditions. Current research  examines the role of sacred land in a world of global capital, money and agency, and recent developments in theory and method in the study of spirit possession.

Picture of Mary Keller









UW Recognition

2015 Hollon Award for Teaching Excellence in Off-Campus Programs

2015 Master Distance Educator

Courses Taught

REL 1000  Introduction to World Religions
AAST/RELI 2450 African Traditional Religions
AAST/RELI 3260 African Spirits in the New World
AAST/RELI 4100 African American Religious Culture
FYS 1101.40 Gilgamesh to the Bomb to Climate Change


Apsáalooke (Crow) Pipe Ceremony on Foretop's Father, (aka Heart Mountain), Big Horn Basin, Wyoming

Media  - Film by Isaac Mendoza depicting the summer field course RELI 4961: Heart Mountain as Icon of American Landscape

Return to Foretop's Father, Cactus Pro films




  • "Spirit Possession as Focal Point in the Constellation of Religion, Materialism, and Ecology" in Religion, Materialism, and Ecology, eds. Sigurd Bergmann, Kate Rigby, Peter Manley Scott. New York, London: Routledge, 2023.

  • “The Indigeneity of Spirit Possession,” in Spirit Possession: Multidisciplinary Approaches to a Worldwide Phenomenon, eds. Éva Pócs and András Zempléni (pp. 193-211).  Budapest, Vienna, New York, NY: Central European University Press, 2022.

  • Lansdowne, Carmen R., Mary L. Keller, and Lisa L. Stenmark, "Indigenizing Religion and Science." In Bloomsbury Religion in North America. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021.

  • "Non-Indigenous Scholars Studying Indigenous Knowledge." In Bloomsbury Religion in North America. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021.

  •  “Engendering Nature with Three Founding Cultures.” Introduction for the Special Issue: Engendering Nature Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 2021:15.1, 5-10.

  •  “Indigenous Religion: From the Origins to the Future of Religious Studies” in Religion: MacMillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks, ed. Jeffrey Kripal. Macmillan  Reference, 2016. 

  • "Indigenous Studies and the Sacred," American Indian Quarterly, 2014:38.1
  • “Spirit Possession,” The Brill Handbook on Spiritualism and Channeling, edited by Cathy Gutierrez, Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion, Vol.9, 2015.

  • Douglas E. Allen, Mary L. Keller, Elton G. McGoun. "Teleinvestmentevangelists: Celebrity, Ritual and Religion and the Quest to “beat the Market”." Qualitative Research in Financial Markets 7, no. 3 (08/03; 2015/07, 2015): 290-308.

  • “Raced and Gendered Perspectives: Towards the Epidermalization of Subjectivity in Religious Studies Theory” in Gender, Religion and Diversity: Cross-Cultural Approaches, Eds. Tina Beattie and Prof. Ursula King, Continuum, 79-94, 2004.

  • Pinn, Anthony B., Monica Miller, guest editors with final review by Mary L. Keller. “Special Issue: Hip-Hop and Religion,” Culture and Religion, 2009: 10.1.

  • Chester J. Fontenot, Jr., Mary L. Keller, eds. Re-Cognizing W. E. B. Du Bois in the 21st Century. Mercer University Press, 2007.

  • Johnson, Paul Christopher and Mary L. Keller, guest editors. “Special Issue: The Work of Possession(s),” Culture and Religion, 2006: 7.2.

  • Carrette, Jeremy and Keller, Mary L. Autumn 1999. “Religion, Orientation and Critical Theory: Race, Gender and Sexuality at the 1998 Lambeth Conference,” Theology and Sexuality, 11, 21-43. Refereed
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