Michelle C. Sanchez
BA, New College of Florida
MDiv, Harvard Divinity School
PhD, Harvard University
Michelle Sanchez is Associate Professor of Theology at Harvard Divinity School.
Sanchez received her doctorate in the study of religion in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. Her first book, Calvin and the Resignification of the World: Creation, Incarnation, and the Problem of Political Theology was released by Cambridge University Press in 2019. It closely reads Calvin's 1559 Institutes with attention to how its genre and pedagogical strategies shape its doctrinal arguments in a material context and with an eye to embodied activity. It also places the text in conversation with contemporary theorists of religion, ritual, secularization and political theology.
Her next book project examines how Christianity became pedagogically reconfigured as a “worldview” in the twentieth century, with special attention to the role of nineteenth century Calvinist theologians.
Her research interests include the Christian movements of reform and complicated legacies of Protestantism, and the complex interrelationships between theology, politics, and rapid social change that marked sixteenth-century Europe. She also studies ways of reading theology that are attentive not only to the traditions themselves, but also to how theological writing responds to concrete historical conditions and general human concerns.
In 2017, she co-hosted a conference at HDS on “Christianity, Race, and Mass Incarceration.” In 2019, she co-hosted another conference as part of a larger academic project on “Historicizing Secular Studies Across the Disciplines.”
In 2012, Sanchez was recognized by the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning for excellence in undergraduate teaching. She also received a Denie S. Weil Teaching Fellowship in Religious Ethics at Harvard. She has been active with regional and national scholarly groups, including the American Academy of Religion, focusing on theology in historical and contemporary contexts.
- Calvin and the Resignification of the World: Creation, Incarnation, and the Problem of Political Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
- “Calvin, Difficult Arguments, and Affective Responses: Providence as a Case Study in Method,” Journal of Religion (2019) (in press)
- “Reading Tradition as Pedagogy in Calvin and Augustine,” Scottish Journal of Theology 72/1 (2019): 20-45
- “Calvin and the Two Bodies of Christ: Fiction and Power in Dogmatic Theology,” Political Theology 19/5 (2018): 439-456
- “Ritualized Doctrine: Protestant Ritual, Genre, and the Case of Calvin’s Institutes,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 85/3 (2017): 746-774
- “Bonhoeffer’s Lutheran Assertions: Cataphasis as Teaching Responsibility to the ‘Other,’” Scottish Journal of Theology 70/4 (2017): 390-408
- “The Logic of Calvin's Reform,” The Christian Century, August 15, 2017