Chair, Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy; Professor
Dr. Verna Marina Ehret is Professor of Religious Studies, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy, and Director of the Evelyn Lincoln Institute for Ethics and Society (ELIES). Her primary fields of study are philosophical and constructive theology. Her most recent publications include a special issue of Religions on Narrative Theology and Religious Change, which is in the process of being converted to a book, and “Embodied Pedagogy: Ricoeur and Becoming Oneself” in Ricoeur and Pedagogy from Rowman and Littlefield, 2020. She is also the editor the Bulletin of the North American Paul Tillich Society, which is published twice a year. In her work with ELIES, Dr. Ehret provides Mercyhurst University and the Erie community with 4-6 lectures and panels each year on wide-ranging topics in ethics including: emerging technologies, environmental ethics, issues in social justice, and global issues. Dr. Ehret also runs an annual faculty development series for Mercyhurst faculty on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging through ELIES.
In teaching, Dr. Ehret is particularly concerned with the ways understanding religion affects how we live in the world to promote cooperative and just societies. She therefore teaches not only the introductory course to Religious Studies and the Capstone Ethics course, but also courses in the history, sociology, and philosophy of religions. Dr. Ehret also has a special interest in the Exploratory Studies program at Mercyhurst, helping students in their first two years of study to find a direction for their education that best fits their goals.
Dr. Ehret with co-panelists in a session on Tillich and Politics at the North American Paul Tillich Society. Dr. Ehret’s work is particularly concerned with the move from theory to practice and making scholarly writing both accessible and applicable to the world outside of academia.