Megan R. Dowdell
Assistant Professor of Ethics and Society
Professor Megan Dowdell’s scholarship and teaching bridges the worlds of theological education, clinical/spiritual care and sociological research. Her current research project is an interpretive phenomenological study of the religious/spiritual experiences of women of color with congestive heart failure. She has also developed a congregational support group model for people with chronic conditions, which grounds her quest as an activist-scholar in the lives and needs of marginalized communities.
Prof. Dowdell is interested in qualitative research methodologies that can help us understand the dynamic relationships among religion/spirituality, justice and health and explore interstitial spaces of knowledge between the fields of religion and sociology. Her past projects have focused on the experiences of front-line providers of abortion care, the relationship between authority and ministry in UU congregations, and the ethical, social and legal implications of genomic biobanking research for communities.
As a Unitarian Universalist minister and educator, Prof. Dowdell educates toward the practice of covenant; she believes foundational knowledge, spiritual discernment and community accountability are all essential ingredients in theological education. She seeks to offer students a warm introduction to challenging material and active support in the preparatory stages for ministry and religious leadership.
- B.A., Sociology/Society and Health, Simmons College, Boston, MA, 2006
- M.A., Ethics and Social Theory, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA 2009
- Certificate, Women’s Studies in Religion, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, 2011
- Ph.D.(c), Sociology (Medical Sociology), University of California San Francisco, expected 2019
- Religion and Social Theory
- Womanist and Antiracist Feminist Interventions in Medical Ethics
- Religious/Spiritual Coping and Illness
- Social Psychology of Race, Gender, Sexuality and Health
- Social Scientific Study of Religion (qualitative methodologies: interpretive phenomenology and situational analysis)
- Health Ethics
- Counter-Oppressive Sociologies
- Critical Theory for Religious Leaders
- Sexual Ethics
- Religious Ethics