Together for Good
Skip to main content area Skip to main navigation Skip to institutional navigation Skip to footer

Religious and Theological Studies

Autumn Alcott Ridenour

Assistant Professor

Religious and Theological Studies


Ph.D., Boston College

Professional Experience

Professor Ridenour’s primary interests are in the areas of theological, philosophical, and social ethics with attention to history and systematic theology.  She completed her Ph.D. in Theological Ethics at Boston College, defending her dissertation entitled “Union with Christ for the Aging: A Consideration of Aging and Death in the Theology of St. Augustine and Karl Barth.”  Ridenour’s research includes the theologies of St. Augustine, Karl Barth, Christology, virtue, medical and bioethics, political ethics, and aging. 

Ridenour has published in the Journal of the Society of Christian EthicsThe Hastings Center Report, several book chapters, a response for the Religion and Culture Web Forum for the University of Chicago’s Martin Marty Center, and numerous book reviews, including Theological StudiesPolitical Theology, and the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics.  Ridenour’s paper presentations include conferences such as the American Academy of Religion, Society of Christian Ethics, University of Chicago’s Program on Medicine and Religion, and the University of Virginia’s Graduate Colloquium on Theology, Ethics, and Culture.

Before completing her Ph.D. at Boston College, Ridenour received her Master of Arts in Religion at Yale Divinity School and served as Program Coordinator at Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics where many of her initial questions on aging and death surfaced.

Ridenour is enthusiastic about teaching and is delighted to join the faculty at Merrimack College where she can engage students with theological and ethical questions in the spirit of St. Augustine. 


Selected Publications

“Accompanying the Dying: A Framework for the Role of Community in the Care of the Dying” with Lisa Sowle Cahill in Lydia S. Dugdale, ed., Dying in the Twenty-First Century: Towards a New Ethics Framework for the Art of Dying Well(Cambridge: MIT Press, forthcoming 2014).

“The Coming of Age: Curse or Calling? Toward a Christological Interpretation of Aging as Call in the Theology of Karl Barth and W.H. Vanstone” in Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 33: 4, Fall/Winter 2013.

“Making Sense of the Roman Catholic Directive to Extend Life Indefinitely,” with Lydia S. Dugdale, MD. The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 41. No. 2. March-April 2011, 28-9.

Selected Paper Presentations

“Union with Christ: Toward a Christological Virtue Ethics Rooted in the Theologies of Augustine and Barth,” American Academy of Religion, Philosophy of Religion Papers Section, “On the ‘Architecture’ of Christian Ethics,” November 25, 2014.

“A Christian Theology of Embodiment, Suffering, and Death in Relation to the Practice of Medicine,” Third Annual Conference on Medicine and Religion, The University of Chicago, March 8, 2014.




Cushing 107C