The University of Iowa

Kristy Nabhan-Warren

V.O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Fellow in Catholic Studies
PhD, Indiana University, 2001
309 Gilh
Office Hours: 
Thurs 10:30-1:30 or by appointment (Fall 2014)
Curriculum Vitae: 
Research Interests: 
Catholic Studies

Professor Nabhan-Warren joined the faculty in 2012.

Kristy Nabhan-Warren is the inaugural V.O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Fellow in Catholic Studies. She comes to us from Augustana College, where she worked with undergraduates for ten years. Kristy is passionate about teaching and research and finds both vocations to be mutually informing and inspiring. In both the classroom and in her scholarly work, she focuses on the lived experiences of American Christians and their communities. Kristy enjoys the challenge of making the academic study of religion relevant and exciting to students, and she strives to get them to the point where they care more about understanding others' beliefs and practices than when they entered the class. She aims to make her classes learning communities where the professor and students learn as much from the assigned texts--print, celluloid, and digital--as they do from each other's perspectives and analyses.

Kristy's published work focuses on American Catholicism, Mexican American lived religion, ethnographic methods in the study of North American religions, youth and religion, and women and American religion. She is the author of The Virgin of El Barrio: Marian Apparitions, Catholic Evangelizing, and Mexican American Activism (New York University Press, 2005), a deep ethnography of a Mexican American Catholic community and its devotions to the Virgin Mary and to apparition-inspired activism. Her second book, Cursillos in America: Catholics, Protestants and Fourth Day Spirituality will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in the Summer 2013. Cursillos in America is a historically-informed ethnographic study of the Catholic Cursillo de Cristianidad movement, an intensive weekend experience that is widespread among Catholics as well as Protestants. In her newest book, Dr. Nabhan-Warren traces the Cursillo movement from its Mallorquin roots to its contemporary U.S. manifestations, and hopes to contribute to a greater understanding of U.S. religious history and specifically the ways U.S. Catholicism and Protestantism have overlapped. She hopes to demonstrate in her work that it is important for scholars of religion to investigate the origins of religious movements, and to travel to those places of origin, for a more globalized Religious Studies perspective. A study of the Cursillo movement points to religious and cultural intersections as well as commonly held values and desires among Mallorquin as well as American Christians.

Kristy's newest book project, tentatively entitled American Catholicisms, is an ethnographically informed study of Catholicism, and the variety of ways it has been lived in the United States and Mexico from the sixteenth century to the present. In addition to her book-length projects, Kristy has also published several articles in leading peer-reviewed journals and in edited volumes, as well as numerous book reviews. She is a member of the editorialboard for the journal Spiritus: A Journal of Spirituality (Johns Hopkins Press) and is a manuscript reviewer for the University of North Carolina Press and Cornell University Press.

Kristy has been happily married to her husband, the U.S. historian Stephen Warren, since 1994. They have three young children: Cormac, Declan, and Josie, who give them great joy. She enjoys cooking vegetarian meals and baking with her children. She also likes to hike and play outside with her family, and to work out to P90X.

Selected Publications: 

(For complete list, please view Dr. Nabhan-Warren's CV)

  • The Cursillo Movement in America: Catholics, Protestants, and Fourth-Day Spirituality . Forthcoming, The University of North Carolina Press. Summer 2013. Editor: Elaine Maisner.
  • The Virgin of El Barrio: Marian Apparitions, Catholic Evangelizing, and Mexican American Activism. New York University Press, Qualitative Studies in Religion series. May 2005. Editor: Jennifer Hammer
Awards & Service: 
  • The Virgin of El Barrio: Marian Apparitions, Catholic Evangelizing, and Mexican American Activism (NYU Press, 2005) was nominated for the 2006 Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR) Distinguished Book Award.
  • Presidential Research Fellowship, Augustana College, Summer 2006.
  • Recipient, Faculty-Student Research Fellowship, 2005. Project with Andrea Johnson, Junior. Project title: “Understanding Lived Religion: The Intersections of Catholicism, Ethnicity, and Gender Among Contemporary Latino/a Americans.
  • Augustana College, New Faculty Research Grant, 2004-2005 academic year.
  • Ruth Halls Fellowship for Outstanding Teaching and Achievement, Indiana University, 1998.
  • 032:054 Introduction to Catholism
  • 032:231 Seminar: Religion and Society
  • 032:054 Issues in American Catholism
  • 032:205 Methods and Theories in the Study of Religion
  • RELS:1702 Religions in America Today
  • RELS:6580 Seminar: Religion and Society