Wendy Farley, Ph.D.

Director, Program in Christian Spirituality, Rice Family Professor of Spirituality
Graduate School of Theology

Photo of Wendy Farley, Ph.D.

Education

PhD, Vanderbilt University

MA, Vanderbilt University

Contact

Montgomery Hall, Marin Campus
211
P: 415.451.2867
E: wendy_farley@redlands.edu
E: wfarley@sfts.edu

Meet Wendy

Professor Farley is a devoted teacher to college, seminary and doctoral students. Wendy received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988 in Systematic Theology, with a concentration in philosophy. Since then, she has focused on contributions of marginalized voices and issues, including feminist, womanist, and queer theology, contemplative practice, and inter-religious dialogue. She is interested in the interdependence of interior transformation and social justice. These themes are reflected in her recent book: Beguiled by Beauty: Cultivating a Life of Contemplation and Compassion (Westminster John/Knox 2020).  

As a leading theologian re-envisioning major theological topics, Wendy Farley has written extensively on women theologians and mystics, religious dialogue, classical texts, contemporary ethical issues, and contemplative practices. Her first book, Tragic Vision and Divine Compassion: A Contemporary Theodicy (Westminster John Knox, 1990) considers the problem of evil by focusing on suffering rather than sin and abandons the forensic model of God in favor of one emphasizing compassion as a dominant metaphor for the divine. A second work, Eros for the Other: Retaining Truth in a Pluralistic World (Penn State: 1996), also takes up the relationships between ethical and philosophical issues in religion. In 2005, she published The Wounding and Healing of Desire: Weaving Heaven and Earth (Westminster John Knox), which combines attention to contemplative practices, folk traditions, and inter-religious dialogue to reflect on suffering and transformation. Gathering Those Driven Away: a Theology of Incarnation (Westminster John Knox, 2011), reflects on the meaning of Christian faith and tradition for women, queers, and others that the church has had difficulty recognizing as part of the body of Christ. She also recently edited (with Emily Holmes) a collection of essays called Women, Writing, Theology: Transforming a Tradition of Exclusion.

The Thirst of God: Contemplating God’s Love with Three Women Mystics (Westminster John Knox, 2015) explores the spirituality of medieval mystics Marguerite Porete, Mechthild of Magdeburg, and Julian of Norwich. In Farley’s words, “These women have important things to tell us about our faith, the same as contemporary contemplatives, with the emphasis on divine love.”



Courses Taught

Orientation to Theological Education (SFTS)

Systematic Theology (SFTS)

Compassion and Contemplation (SFTS)

Contemplating Beauty (Emory University)

Contemplative Theology: Plato to Porete (Emory University)

Women Mystics and Theologians (Emory University)

Religion and Social Change (Emory University)

Publications

Beguiled by Beauty: Cultivating a Life of Contemplation and Compassion, (Westminster John/Knox 2020). 

The Thirst of God: Contemplating God’s Love with Three Women Mystics, Westminster/John Knox, 2015 (169 pp)

Gathering Those Driven Away: a Theology of Incarnation, Westminster/John Knox, 2011 (233 pp)

The Wounding and Healing of Desire: Weaving Heaven and Earth, Westminster/John Knox, 2005 (180 pp)

Eros for the Other: Retaining Truth in a Pluralistic Age, Pennsylvania State Press, 1996 (220pp)

Tragic Vision and Divine Compassion: A Contemporary Theodicy, Westminster/John Knox, Spring, 1990 (150 pp)

EDITED VOLUME
Women Writing Theology: Transforming a Tradition of Exclusion, co-editor with Emily Holmes, Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2011 (330pp)