Cynthia eller



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CYNTHIA ELLER
Professor, Philosophy and Religion

Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ 07043



ellerc@mail.montclair.edu
address on leave:

1963 La France Ave.

South Pasadena, CA 91030

(973) 454-5114



Professional Experience
Teaching:

9/10 – present Professor, Montclair State University

9/04 – 6/10 Associate Professor, Montclair State University

9/01 – 6/04 Assistant Professor, Montclair State University

9/99 - 12/99 Visiting Assistant Professor, Bethany Seminary

9/96 - 6/97 Visiting Assistant Professor, Princeton University

9/90 - 5/92 Adjunct Faculty, Fairleigh Dickinson University

9/89 – 6/90 Visiting Assistant Professor, Yale University


Other Professional Experience:

8/13 – 8/14 Science Writer, Marketing and Communications

California Institute of Technology

9/07 – 6/08 Visiting Fellow, Center for the Study of Religion,

Princeton University

9/96 – 9/97 Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of American Religion,

Princeton University

9/95 – 6/00 Affiliate Fellow, Center for the Study of American Religion,

Princeton University

2/93 - 9/95 Associate Editor, Continuum Publishing Company



Education
postdoctoral Yale University 1990 Religion

Ph.D. University of So. California 1988 Social Ethics (Religion)

M.A. University of So. California 1984 Social Ethics (Religion)

B.A. University of La Verne 1980 Social Philosophy



Books
Revealing Religion (digital textbook). West Stockbridge, MA: Thinking Strings, 2014.
Gentlemen and Amazons: The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory, 1861-1900. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011.
Revealing World Religions (digital textbook). West Stockbridge, MA: Thinking Strings, 2014. (also sold separately as Revealing Eastern Religions and Revealing Western Religions; initially published in 2005; revised and issued in new editions twice per year since).
Am I a Woman? A Skeptic’s Guide to Gender. Boston: Beacon Press, 2003.
The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won’t Give Women a Future. Boston: Beacon Press, 2000.
Living in the Lap of the Goddess: The Feminist Spirituality Movement in America. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995 (paperback edition); New York: Crossroad, 1993.
Conscientious Objectors and the Second World War: Moral and Religious Arguments in Support of Pacifism. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1991.


Journal Articles and Book Chapters

"From Motherkin to the Great Goddess," in The Classics and Early Anthropology, Emily Varto, ed. Leiden: Brill, in preparation.


“Matriarchy and the Volk,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 81/1 (2013): 188-221.
“Two Knights and a Goddess: Sir Arthur Evans, Sir James George Frazer, and the Invention of Minoan Religion,” Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 25/1 (2012): 75-98.
“Sons of the Mother: Victorian Anthropologists and the Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory,” Gender and History 18/1 (2006).

“The Roots of Feminist Spirituality,” in Between the Worlds: Readings in Contemporary Neopganism, ed. Síân Reid. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2006.


“The Feminist Appropriation of Matriarchal Myth in the 19th and 20th Centuries,” History Compass 3/1 (2005).
“The Religious Use of Prehistoric Imagery in Contemporary Goddess Spirituality,” Public Archaeology 3/2 (2003): 77-87.
“Response,” Religion 31 (2001): 265-71. [response to a critique of The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory, published in the same issue (Kristy Coleman, “Matriarchy and Myth,” 247-64)]
“White Women and the Dark Mother,” Religion 30 (2000): 367-78.
“Divine Objectification: The Representation of Goddesses and Women in Feminist Spirituality,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 16/1 (Spring 2000): 23-44.
“The Roots of Feminist Spirituality,” in Daughters of the Goddess: Studies of Healing, Identity, and Empowerment, ed. Wendy Griffin. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2000.
“Immanence and Transcendence in Women's Thea/ologies,” The Annual Review of Women in World Religions. Volume V. Eds. Arvind Sharma and Katherine K. Young. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999.
“Affinities and Appropriations in Feminist Spirituality,” in Spellbound: Women and Witchcraft in America, ed. Elizabeth Reis. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources Inc., 1998.

“New Religious Movements and Social Change: The Case of Feminist Spirituality,” Syzygy: Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture 2/1-2 (Winter/Spring 1993): 97-106.


“The Birth of a New Religion: The Feminist Spirituality Movement,” Continuum 2/2-3 (March 1993): 77-102.
“Twentieth Century Women's Religion as Seen in the Feminist Spirituality Movement,” in Women's Leadership in Marginal Religions: Explorations Outside the Mainstream, ed. Catherine Lowman Wessinger. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1993.
“The Impact of Christianity on Buddhist Nonviolence in the West,” in Inner Peace, World Peace: Essays on Buddhism and Nonviolence, ed. Kenneth Kraft. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1992.
“Relativizing the Patriarchy: The Sacred History of the Feminist Spirituality Movement,” History of Religions 30/3 (February 1991): 279-295.

“Oral History as Moral Discourse: Conscientious Objectors and the Second World War,” The Oral History Review 18/1 (Spring 1990): 45-75.



Encyclopedia Entries
“The Worship of the Goddess in Feminist Spirituality in the United States,” in New and Alternative Religions in the United States, vol. 3, ed. Michael Ashcraft and Eugene V. Gallagher. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2006.
“Ancient Matriarchies in 19th and 20th Century Feminist Thought,” in Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America, ed. Rosemary Skinner Keller and Rosemary Radford Ruether. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2006.
“Magic,” “Priestesses,” and “Neopaganism,” in Contemporary American Religion, ed. Wade Clark Roof. New York: Macmillan Reference, 1999.
“Goddess: History of Study,” “Immanence and Transcendence,” “Matriarchy,” and “Neopaganism,” in Encyclopedia of Women and World Religion, ed. Serinity Young. New York: Macmillan Reference, 1998.
“Feminism” and “Witchcraft” (with Elizabeth Reis) in Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, ed. Robert Wuthnow. Washington DC: Congressional Quarterly Books, 1998.
“Women’s Spirituality,” “Matriarchy,” “Goddess,” and “Wicca/Neopaganism,” in Dictionary of Feminist Theologies, eds. Letty M. Russell and Shannon Clarkson. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1996.

Professional Papers and Public Lectures
“The Evolution of Feminist Spirituality,” Lecture for class at Smith College, 3 December 2012.
“Who’s Your Daddy? Gender and God Language in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” Lecture at Montclair State University, 23 March 2010.
“Am I a Woman?” Lecture at Montclair State University, 4 November 2004; Caldwell College, 10 March 2005; Seton Hall University, 11 April 2005.
“All the Mother’s Children: Matriarchal Myth in Modern Western Thought,” invited paper at Gender, Myth, and Mythmaking International Conference, School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London, December 2004.
“Am I a Woman?” Lecture at Bennington College as part of Radical Critiques lecture series, April 2004.
“Educational Courseware in the Hybrid Course,” paper presented at the New Jersey Edge conference on digital technologies on the classroom, Raritan Valley College, March 2004.

“Naked Goddesses: The Representation of Divine and Ordinary Women.” Lecture at MSU, 25 February 2004.

“Religious Uses of Prehistoric Material Culture: Female Figurines and the Feminist Spirituality Movement,” plenary address at annual Gender and Archaeology Conference, Sonoma State University, 4 October 2002.
“From Motherright to Gylany: The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory,” invited lecture at Williams College, 1 April 2002.

“Ancient Matriarchies in 19th and 20th Century Feminist Thought,” paper read at American Academy of Religion Mid-Atlantic regional meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, 14 March 2002.

“Have Women Ever Ruled? Prehistoric Goddess Worship and Ancient Matriarchies,” invited lecture at George Washington University, 12 March 2002; California State University, Northridge, 7 March 2001; and Montclair State University, New Jersey, 15 February 2001.

“Religious Feminism and the Eternal Feminine,” paper read at American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Denver, Colorado, 19 November 2001.


“Ancient Goddesses and the Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory,” plenary address at American Academy of Religion Mid-Atlantic regional meeting, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 15 March 2001.

“White Women and the Dark Mother,” paper read at American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Orlando, Florida, 22 November 1998.


“The Need for Eden: Prehistoric Goddess Worship and Feminist Origin Myths,” paper read at American Academy of Religion Mid-Atlantic regional meeting, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 12 March 1998.
“Feminist Spirituality and the Myth of the Ancient Matriarchies,” lecture at Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California, 20 February 1995; and at Montclair State College, Montclair, New Jersey, 23 February 1994.
“‘You Create Your Own Reality’: Feminist Spirituality and the Central Dogma of the New Age,” paper read at American Academy of Religion Mid-Atlantic regional meeting, New York City, New York, 18 March 1994.
“Divine Objectification: The Representation of Goddesses and Women in Feminist Spirituality,” lecture at Columbia Religion Seminar, New York City, New York, February 1994; and at American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Washington DC, 22 November 1993.
“The Significance of Immanence in Women's Thea/ologies,” panel presentation at American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Washington DC, 22 November 1993.

“New Religious Movements and Social Change: The Case of Feminist Spirituality,” paper read at Society for the Scientific Study of Religion annual meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 8 November 1991.


“Feminist Spirituality and the Challenge of Political Effectiveness,” paper read at Celebration of Our Work Conference, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 21 May 1991.
“Nonviolence in Western Buddhism,” paper read at American Academy of Religion Mid-Atlantic regional meeting, New York City, New York, 21 March 1991.
“Reassessing the Civilian Public Service Experience during World War II,” presentation given at Celebration of Conscience Conference, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, 4 August 1990.

“Religious Justifications of Nonviolence in WWII,” paper read at American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Anaheim, California, 20 November 1989.


“The Sacred History of the Feminist Spirituality movement,” paper read at American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Chicago, Illinois, 21 November 1988.

Recent Book Reviews
Review of Helen A. Berger and Douglas Ezzy, Teenage Witches: Magical Youth and the Search for the Self (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2007). In Sociology of Religion, Winter 2009.
Review of Sarah M. Pike, New Age and Neopagan Religions in America (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2004). In Journal of Religion, January 2008.
Review of Sandra Billington and Miranda Green, eds., The Concept of the Goddess (NY: Routledge, 1996) and Nancy R. Howell, A Feminist Cosmology: Ecology, Solidarity, and Metaphysics (NY: Humanity Books, 2000). In Nova Religio, 2001.

Honors and Awards
Montclair State University, Distinguished Scholar Award, 2011-2012

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2004-2005

Separately Budgeted Research, Montclair State University, summer 2001, summer 2006

Library Journal Best Books of the Year, 2000 (for The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory)

Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award, 1994 (for Living in the Lap of the Goddess) Henry R. Luce Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1988-1990

Courses Taught
Religions of the World

Introduction to Religion

Atheism

New Religious Movements



Religion in Popular Culture

Religion in North America

Religion and Film

Wicca and Neopaganism

Women and Religion

Women and Religion in America

Feminist Theology

Goddesses

Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies

Feminist Theory

Seminar in Women’s and Gender Studies

Professional Service
Service to MSU:

Acting Director, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, 1/10 – 6/10

Head of advising for Religious Studies majors, 9/09 - present

Website manager for Philosophy and Religion Department, 1/09 – 9/10

Deputy Chair, Philosophy and Religion Department, 9/08 - present

University General Education Committee, 9/06 – 6/07

American Studies Task Force, 9/06 – 6/07

Philosophy and Religion Personnel Action Committee, 9/06 – present

Women’s Studies Advisory Board, 9/01 – present

Acting Director, Women’s Studies Program, 9/03 - 6/04

CHSS Leadership Council, 9/03 – 6/04

CHSS Curriculum Committee, 9/03 – 6/04

Steering Committee, Women’s Studies Program, 1/02 – 6/04, 9/06 – 6/07, 9/11 – present

Philosophy and Religion Search Committees, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009

Philosophy and Religion Department travel committee, 9/01 – 6/03
Manuscript/Proposal Review:

New York University Press

Columbia University Press

University of California Press

State University of New York Press

Northeastern University Press

Beacon Press

Swedenborg Foundation

Catholic University of America Press

Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion

Journal of International Women’s Studies

Gender, Place, and Culture

Public Archaeology

Women’s History Review
Doctoral Dissertations supervised:

Constance Wise, Iliff School of Theology/Denver University, 2003.

Sheila Federman, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2000.

Professional Affiliations
Journal of International Women’s Studies (on editorial review board)

American Academy of Religion (served on Program Committee, 1997-2003)

Fellow, Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion

Critical Advisor, Center for Millennial Studies, Boston University








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