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About Christel Manning

Christel Manning was born in southern California and raised in Germany. She has travelled all over Europe and the United States and more recently India. She currently lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband and daughter.
Professor Manning teaches the introductory course in Religious Studies, as well as electives on women in world religions, religion and sexuality, cults and sects, and Eastern religions.
Research areas include the intersection of religion, gender, and sexuality; the sociology of new or marginal religious movements; and, most recently, the study of those unaffiliated with religion.
Christel Manning’s book from NYU Press, Losing Our Religion: How Unaffiliated Parents are Raising their Children, was named a "Top Ten Most Influential Books of 2015' and won the 2016 Distinguished Book Award from Society for the Scientific Study of Religion


September 1995 - Present Professor Religious Studies, Sacred Heart University Department of Philosophy, Theology & Religious Studies


2017 - Present Meaning Making Narratives Among Non-religious Individuals Facing the End of Life
John Templeton Foundation - JTF grant ID# 60624
Role: Principal investigator
Colleague(s): Vern Bengston, University of Southern California (Consultant)
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Honors and Awards

  • Annual Scholarly Recognition Award for Book, 2017


  • Eastern Religions
  • Cults & Sects
  • Religion & Sexuality
  • Women in World Religions


1989 - 1995 Ph.D. Religious Studies, University of California Santa Barbara
1980 - 1984 B.A. Economics, Tufts University
M.A., University of California Santa Barbara ‐ Religious Studies

Contact Information

Theology and Religious Studies
Academic Bldg HC 221P
College of Arts and Sciences


Recent Works (1)

Books (4)

Articles (8)

Book Chapters (2)

Book Review (4)