C. Melissa Snarr
Associate Professor of Ethics and Society
On Sabbatical 2019-20 School Year
Prof. Snarr’s research focuses on the intersection of religion, social change, and political ethics. As a Christian social ethicist, she draws on a variety of methodologies, with special concentration in sociological and political theory as well as comparative religious ethics (focusing on Islamic political thought), to understand how religion transforms the world. She teaches courses ranging from "Modern Christian Political Thought" and "Religion and Social Movements" to "Religion and War in an Age of Terror" (comparative Muslim/Christian).
Dr. Snarr seeks to bridge the worlds of religious activists and academic ethicists to deepen the understanding of religious traditions and practices in order to enhance the work for justice. Her current book project, tentatively titled Interfaith Poverty in the United States, builds from fieldwork that asks how the interfaith movement attends to class issues, particularly the vulnerabilities of low-wage workers who are non-Christian. Her previous book, All You That Labor: Religion and Ethics in the Living Wage Movement (NYU 2011), drew on extensive participant observation to analyze and evaluate the contributions of religious activists in the living wage movement. She is also the author of Social Selves and Political Reforms (Continuum, 2007) as well as several articles in feminist ethics.
Dr. Snarr worships at East End United Methodist Church (a reconciling congregation) even while she still treasures her “little ‘b’ baptist” roots and connections to the Alliance of Baptists.