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Kelly Denton-Borhaug
Global Religions

Dr. Kelly Denton-Borhaug

Professor, Department of Religion
Co-director, Peace and Justice Studies Minor
Executive Director, InFocus Centers of Investigation




Phone: 610-625-7104
Office: Comenius 109 


B.A., California State University, Northridge 
M.Div. with Honors, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA


Cultural criticism of religion, religion, militarism and war in the U.S. context, moral injury, liberationist ethics, Christian soteriology and ethics.

Recent Book


U.S. War-culture, Sacrifice and Salvation (London: Equinox, 2011). Religion and Violence Series, Co-editors Rosemary Radford Ruether and Lisa Isherwood.

See more information and for links to recent articles, videos and podcasts.

Recent Articles and Book Chapters 

  • "U.S. War-culture, the Post-9/11 `unlawful alien combatant,' and `Peace in God's World," Lutheran Interpretation of Legal Issues. Eds. Ron Duty and Marie Falinger.  Forthcoming.
  • "Martyrdom Discourse in Contemporary U.S. War-culture," Wiley Blackwell Companion to Christian Martyrdom.  Ed. Paul Middleton.  Forthcoming.
  • "`Like Acid Seeping into Your Soul': Religio-cultural Violence in Moral Injury."  Exploring Moral INjury in Sacred Texts. Ed. Joseph McDonald.  London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017.
  • "Resisting the Sacred Canopy over U.S. Ways of War." Political Theology. Vol 18 Issue 3 Mayt 30, 2017. 206-218. DOI: 10.1179/17431719Y.0000000007.
  • "Sacrificial War-culture, Cognitive Dissonance, and the Absence of Self Awareness, "Journal of Religion and Violence,"  April 28, 2017.  DOI: 10.584/jrv201742538.
  • "U.S. War-culture and the Starwars Juggernaut," Theology and Science, Vol 14, 2016, Issue 4. 
  • “Sacrificial `Linguistic Subterfuge’ and the Times We’re In.” Library of Social Science. March 2015. Web.
  • “U.S. War-culture and the Political Economy of the United States.” Word and World Vol. 34, Number 4, Fall, 2014.
  • “Memoir as Contemplative Practice for Peace and Justice.” With Daniel Jasper. International Journal of Critical Pedagogy. Vol. 5 No. 2, 2014.
  • “Sacrifice, American Exceptionalism and War-culture,” Library of Social Science. November, 2013.Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
  • "Sacrifice, Moral Injury, and the Work of Healing after War," Caring Connections: An Inter-Lutheran Journal for Practitioners and Teachers of Pastoral Care and Counseling,, Winter 2013.
  • "Beyond Iraq and Afghanistan: Religion and Politics in U.S. War-culture," Dialog, Summer 2012.
  • Panelist at recent peace event in Lancaster, PA: "Stories of Taxes and Conscience in a Culture of War" sponsored by 1040 for Peace and Every Church a Peace Church, spring 2012.
  • Recipient of the Dec. 2012 "Peace Pilgrim Award" at the "53rd Peace Pilgrimage" in Bethlehem, and keynote speaker, “De-escalating U.S. War-culture: A Primer for Peace Advocates”.
  • Commissioner at Truth Commission on Conscience in War, Riverside Church, New York, March 21-22, 2010.
  • "Sacrifice and U.S. War-culture," Prajna Vihara: Journal of Philosophy and Religion. Vol. 10 No. 1-2 Jan-Dec.2009, 51-76.
  • "War-culture and Sacrifice," Feminist Theology. Vol. 18(2) January 2010.
  • "A Theological Reflection on Torture and Democracy," Dialog: A Journal of Theology. Vol 47, No.3, Fall 2008.
  • "The Language of `Sacrifice' in the Buildup to War: A Feminist Rhetorical and Theological Analysis, The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, spring, 2007.
  • "A Deadly Nexus: `Necessity," Christian Salvation and War Culture, International
  • Journal of the Humanities, Vol 5, Issue 9, fall '07, pp. 161-168.


  • InFocus Global Travel Seminar: Japan: Legacies of WWII, co-taught with Professor of Sociology, Daniel Jasper., May 2017.
  • Christian Theology, spring 2017.
  • Religion and Feminist/Gender Studies, developed in 2015.
  • War and Peace in Film, an InFocus course co-taught with Associate Professor of Sociology, Daniel Jasper, developed in 2014.
  •  What is Peace? National Endowment of the Humanities Enduring Questions Course, with Professor of Philosophy Bernie Canteñs, developed in 2014.
  •  Pilgrimage: Searching for God in the Postmodern World, Moravian College online course, developed in 2013.
  •  The Civil Rights Movement and the Moral Life, co-taught with Professor of Education Robert Mayer, developed in 2012.
  •  The First Year Seminar: What Is Education for? developed in 2011.
  •  Senior Seminar in Religion: Christian Ethics: Disturbing the Status Quo, developed in 2010.
  •  Lifewalk of Justice: Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies, co-taught with Associate.
  • Professor of Sociology Daniel Jasper, developed in 2010.
  •  Seminar in Post-Colonial Theology with Travel Seminar to U.S./Mexico Border, developed in 2009.
  •  Theology and Culture, developed in 2008.
  •  Introduction to Latin American Liberation Theology, developed in 2008.
  •  Jesus Saves? Salvation Metaphors in Christian Thought, developed in 2007.
  •  Explorations in Christian Theology, developed in 2007.
  •  Religion and Politics, developed in 2007.
  •  Christian Ethics and War, developed in 2006.
  •  What IS Religion? developed in 2006.

Recent Activities

  • Dr. Denton-Borhaug co-led a Mayterm Global InFocus Travel Seminar to Japan in 2017, focusing on the legacies of WWII in Japan, the U.S. and world.
  • Beginning spring, 2017, Dr. Denton-Borhaug was appointed as the Executive Director of Infocus Centers of Investigation at Moravain College.
  • Lecture in Muhlenberg College's Center for Ethics Series, "War and Peacebuilding," "Resisting the Sacred Canopy over U.S. Ways of War," Sept. 6, 2016, Muhlenberg College. 2016.  
  • Dr. Denton-Borhaug was co-director of Moravian College's InFocus: War and Peace during the 2014-15 academic year.
  • In May, Dr. Denton-Borhaug taught: "Theology and Culture: Pilgrimage: Searching for God in a (Post)Modern World" (an online course). In June, she embarked upon the 1,000 year-old pilgrimage route in northern Spain, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, walking over 300 miles in 21 days.
  • "How Did War Get to Be Religious? Supporting Christian Peace Builders in U.S. War-culture" Retreat Leader for Mennonite Lehigh Valley Conferences, Feb. 8-10, 2013.
  • U.S. War-culture, Sacrifice and Salvation was featured at a section of the 2012 American Academy of Religion Conference, and at the 2013 Society of Christian Ethic's "Breakfast with an Author" gathering.
  • American Academy of Religion in November, 2011: "War, Moral Injury, and the Construction of Masculinity" and "De-transcendentalizing War, De-Centering Sacrifice".
  • The Emory University Conference on Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding, June, 2011: “Sacrifice, Civil Religion, and Obstacles to Peacebuilding in the U.S."
  • Truth Commission on Conscience in War to Protect and Honor Freedom of Conscience for Our Nation's Service Members.  Commissioner.  March 21-22, 2010.  The Riverside Church, NY, New York.
  • Dr. Denton-Borhaug is the '11 recipient of The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. She follows in the footsteps of Dr. Don St. John, the '10 recipient of this same award that has been presented annually at Moravian College since 1964 to the faculty member selected on the basis of a poll of seniors, faculty, and administrators, with the final choice made by a panel of past recipients, the Dean of the College, and the President.  The criteria for selection are excellence in teaching, professional development, and relationship to students.

Other Grants and Awards

  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Consortium of Independent Colleges, 2016-2018. CIC Faculty Mentor. Online Humanities Instruction Pilot Grant. Individual Stipend: $4,000.00.
  • National Endowment of the Humanities, 2014-2016.  Enduring Questions  Program: What is Peace?  With Dr. Bernardo Canteñs. Total stipend: $32,256.00.
  • Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Sept. 23, 2015. Distinguished Ministry of Special Service Award. Awarded to one alumna/us each year.
  • Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges, 2014-2015. LVAIC Conference Grant: From War to Peace. Primary grant writer/conference architect with faculty colleagues from LVAIC. Conference Stipend: $4,200.00.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 2014-2016. Digital Pedagogy Course Development Grant. Moravian College. Individual Stipend: $2300.00.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Consortium of Independent Colleges, 2014-2016.  Online Humanities Instruction Pilot Grant. Moravian College. Individual Stipend: $6,000.00.
  •  Fifty-Third Annual Bethlehem Peace Pilgrimage. Peace Pilgrim Award and keynote address: “De-escalating U.S. War-culture: A Primer for Peace Advocates.” Dec. 15, 2011. Bethlehem, PA.
  • The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation. Award for Distinguished Teaching. June, 2011. Awarded to one faculty member at Moravian College each year.
  • Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Invited presentation for “The Religion and Warfare Roundtable.” Sept. 24-26, 2009. University of Notre Dame, IN.
  • SOAR Summer Grants, Moravian College, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2017.
  • Moravian College Summer Faculty Research Grant, 2009.
  • Moravian College Pedagogy Development Grants, 2008, 2011, 2015.