College of Arts and Sciences

Amy Koehlinger

Native Tongue Lectures

"Pray That There Will Be No Violence": Sisters, Civil Rights, and Selma, 1965

Photo of Amy Koehlinger

Amy Koehlinger
Associate Professor of Religion
Florida State University in Tallahassee

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Neff Hall, Room 101
7:00 p.m.


Amy Koehlinger is Associate Professor of Religion at Florida State University in Tallahassee where she teaches courses in North American religious history, American Catholicism, and methodological issues surrounding the application of ethnographic methods to historical research and writing.

Her research focuses on the culture of American Catholicism, historical intersections of religion and social reform in the United States, and the construction of gender within American religious traditions. Her first book The New Nuns: Racial Justice and Religious Reform in the 1960s (2007)The New Nuns: Racial Justice and Religious Reform in the 1960s (2007) documents the involvement of Catholic women religious in racial justice programs during the civil rights era, exploring how activism in this “racial apostolate” transformed sisters’ ideas about gender and power and influenced the reforms they implemented in their own religious congregations in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. The New Nuns won the 2009 Eric Hoffer Prize in the Culture category.

Koehlinger’s next project Rosaries and Rope Burns: Boxing and Manhood in American Catholicism, 1880-1970 documents the historical significance of the sport of boxing among American Catholics, exploring boxing’s relationship with religious ideas about the redemptive value of physical suffering and blood, and the sport’s effect on performances of manhood among particular racial and ethnic groups of Catholics. Her work has been supported by the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame, and the Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion at Yale.

Koehlinger is a Fort Wayne native and graduate of Concordia Lutheran High School. She regularly returns to the city with her family for vacations. She received her Ph.D. in American religious history from Yale University in 2002. Koehlinger teaches courses such as Religions in the U.S and Religion in 20th Century U.S. History. She has also taught an undergraduate seminar on American Catholic writers and a graduate seminar on Religion and Gender.