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Carol Zaleski

Professor of World Religions (Religion)

Carol Zaleski


Seelye 413


Carol Zaleski earned her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in the study of religion from Harvard University. She has been teaching philosophy of religion, world religions and Christian thought at Smith since 1989 and was appointed to the chair in world religions in July 2006.

Zaleski is the author of Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near-Death Experience in Medieval and Modern Times and The Life of the World to Come (both Oxford University Press). She is the co-author, with Philip Zaleski, of The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Prayer: A History (Houghton Mifflin), The Book of Heaven (Oxford) and The Book of Hell (forthcoming, Oxford). She is currently working on a book about belief and doubt (concerning God, freedom, and immortality). She is a columnist and editor-at-large for Christian Century, and has contributed articles and reviews to The New York TimesFirst Things, AmericaSecond SpringNova et Vetera, Communio, ParabolaThe Journal of Religion and The Journal of the History of Ideas.

Zaleski regularly teaches Philosophy of Religion; Introduction to World Religions; The Inklings; The Catholic Philosophical Tradition; Heaven, Hell, and Other Worlds: the Afterlife in World Religions; and seminars on C. S. Lewis, William James and John Henry Newman.

Office Hours

Spring 2024

Wednesday 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Thursday 2 - 3 p.m.
and by appointment


Ph.D., M.A., Harvard University
B.A., Wesleyan University