Religious & Theological Studies
Dr. Norris is Professor in the Department of Religious and Theological Studies, and is currently chair. She publishes in the areas of religious games and toys as well as neuroscience and religion. Her books include Toying with God: The World of Religious Games and Dolls (Baylor, 2010) co-authored with Nikki Bado-Fralick (Iowa State University) and Religion and the Body: Modern Science and the Construction of Religious Meaning (Brill, 2012) co-edited with David Cave (University of Michigan). This book reflects on the implications of neurobiology and the scientific worldview on aspects of religious experience, belief, and practice. She was also a founding co-editor (with Dr. Richard Karp) of the Studies in Body and Religion book series published by Lexington Books (Rowman Littlefield).
Other publications include:
- “Games, Dolls, and Toys,” co-authored with Nikki Bado, in Routledge Companion to Religion and Popular Culture, edited by John Lyden and Eric Mazur, Routledge, 2015.
- “Methodology of the Study of Body and Religion: Reflections on Salience and Reflexivity” in Commun(icat)ing Bodies - The Body as Medium in Religious Communication Systems, edited by Alexander Darius Ornella, et al., TVZ, 2014. Bloomsbury reprint and e-edition 2015.
- “The Battle for the Toybox: Marketing and Fun in the Development of Children’s Religious Identities” in Children and Religion: A Methods Handbook, Susan Ridgely, ed., NYU Press, 2011.
- “Sacred Games are Serious Fun” in Cultures Emerging: Anthropology for a New Millennium, Linda Jencson, ed., Kendall-Hunt Publishing, 2009.
- “The Paradox of Healing Pain” Religion, Mar 2009, Vol. 39 Iss.1, p22-33.
- “Examining the Structure and Role of Emotion: Contributions of Neurobiology to the Study of Embodied Religious Experience,” Zygon: The Journal of Science and Religion, 40:1, March 2005.
- “Converting to what? Embodied culture and the adoption of new beliefs,” in Anthropology of Religious Conversion, Rowman and Littlefield, 2003.
Dr. Norris has served on the Program Committee of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and was also co-founder and co-chair for the Body and Religion Group of the AAR. She is the former elected Regional Director of the New England-Maritimes region of the AAR.
Dr. Norris also collaborates with the Honors Program, teaching Honors- World Religions.