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Michele Freyhauf

PhD Student & Research Assistant

PhD Student & Research Assistant in the Department of Theology and Religion


Academic Employment, Teaching Posts, and Board Memberships

Adjunct Instructor, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. University of Mount Union, Alliance, Ohio.

  •  Instructor for RE 320, "Jesus and the Gospels" (Spring 2014).

Part-Time Instructor, Theology and Religious Studies Department. John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio. 

  •  Develop and instruct "Introduction to the Study of Theology and Religion" (Fall 2013 – Current). *Note: Fall 2015, introduced a Service Component to the Course.
  •  Develop and instruct "Religion, Terrorism, and Culture Wars" (Fall 2015, 2016). 

Adjunct Instructor. Religious Studies Department. Ursuline College, Pepper Pike, Ohio.

  • Develop and instruct RS255 “History of Catholicism in America” (Fall 2012).
  • Develop and instruct RS205 “Introduction to the Study of Religion” (Spring, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016).
  • Develop and instruct RS322 “Contemporary Christian Theology” (Summer III, 2014).
  • Develop and instruct Special Topics Course "Book of Revelation" (Summer 2016).

Research Assistant, Durham University.  January 2014 - present.

Assist Dr. Marcus Pound with research, editing articles, creating syllabi, assisting with the department blog, and compiling/editing the Patristic Lectionary.

Assessment Reviewer, Editor, and Writer for World Religion Textbooks. Ohlinger Publishing, Columbus, Ohio (2012-2016).

  • Review, edit, and write on-line assessments utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  • Review and write media assessments.
  • Update or create instructor’s manuals for textbooks.
  • Prepare PowerPoint presentations for textbooks.

Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (October 1997 - Present)

  • Art and Cultural property research
  • Provenance research (including public policy, acquisition/claims, and Nazi-Era art) [Note: Training includes AAMD Nazi-Era Provenance Workshop, 2015; AAMG Provenance Workshop, 2014].
  • Non-Profit, Taxation, and Trust/Estate Administration

Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society 

March 2011 to March 2012, Representative to the Student Advisory Board. I served as liaison between the graduate student members and the Executive Board. I assist with planning graduate seminar and organizing graduate paper/poster submissions.

March 2012 to present, Co-Chair of the Student Advisory Board. I am currently working with the Regional Coordinator to develop a Mentoring Program for Undergraduate students interested in study in the area of theology and religion within our district. I will also work with graduate departments in the field to reach out to students. Additional projects include workshops to help students in the area of preparing applications, writing effective papers, and coaching for conference presentations.

Society of Biblical Literature

November 2013 to November 2016. Member-at-Large, Student Advisory Board. Work with the Board to develop programming and networking opportunities for student members.


Blog Publications

Blog: ASOR

Blog: Durham Abbey House

Blog: Feminism and Religion Project,  Links to all articles:

  • “’I’m in Love with Judas:’ Names and Taboos within the Scholarly Arena and Biblical Studies” (August 4, 2011).
  •  “Using the Bible to Promote and Impose Terror on Women (September 8, 2011).
  • “Diminished Quality of Catechesis as a Basis for Limiting the Role of a Catholic Theologian: An Examination of the Controversy surrounding Elizabeth Johnson’s Book The Quest for the Living God” (September 29, 2011).
  • “Criminalizing Miscarriages: Latin America’s Zero Tolerance Policy on Abortion” (October 6, 2011).
  •  “Enduring the Trials of Graduate School: From Conception to Labor Pains and Birth” (November 17, 2011).
  • “A Reflection of What Influences and Controls my Ideologies: An Examination of Althusser’s Ideological State Apparatus” (December 1, 2011).
  • “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, but Obedient Ones are Rewarded in Heaven: An Examination of the Re-Invention of the Bengali Tradition of Sati” (December 15, 2011).
  • “My Body Tells a Story: Embracing my Scars and Imperfections” (December 29, 2011).
  • “Son of Man: An Updated Gospel Story of Jesus set in South Africa” (January 12, 2012).
  • “Hagar: A Portrait of a Victim of Domestic Violence and Rape” (January 26, 2012).
  •  “Preying on Victims: Radical Christianity and Exploitation of Tragedy in the Name of God” (March 8, 2012).
  • “Hoy, Canto de Mujer Que Se Libera – Un Canto de Ada María Isasi-Díaz” (May 17, 2012).
  • “Hagar – Demoted Servant or Egyptian Princess?” (June 14, 2012).
  • “Remembering my Grandmother: Not as a Suffering Servant but as a Devoted and Loving Mother” (June 28, 2012).
  •  “Silencing Miriam: Prophetess, Liberator, and Leader” (July 26, 2012).
  •  “Rape is Not a Political Platform – Rape is a Violent Crime!” (August 23, 2012).
  •  “Lucy Burns, A Look at a Catholic American Suffragette” (September 20, 2012).
  •  “Pussy Riot: Guilty of Crimes of Blasphemy or Being Feminists?” (November 15, 2012).
  • “Imix: Primal Mother and Dawn of a New Age” (December 21, 2012).
  • “Monthly Highlight: Emilie M. Townes” (January 4, 2013).
  • “And Thus God made a Covenant with Hagar in the Wilderness” (January 17, 2013).
  • “St. Thecla: Transvestite Saint and Woman Apostle” (February 21, 2013).
  • “Marriage as a Commodity (Satisfaction Guaranteed)” (March 7, 2013).
  • “Standing in Cautious Optimism with the Election of the First Jesuit Pope,” (March 21, 2013).
  • “Why are We Troubled by a Homeless Jesus?” (April 25, 2013).
  • “Protecting our Families: How the U.S. Falls Short in Protecting New Mothers (and Fathers),” (May 2, 2013).
  • “Appreciating the Sacrament of the Present Moment,” (May 16, 2013).
  • “Genetic Testing: The Ethical Implication of Newborn Testing – Who Benefits? (Part One), (June 6, 2013).
  • “Genetic Testing: The Ethical Implication of Newborn Testing – Who Benefits? (Part Two), (June 20, 2013).
  • “Enlightened Sexism and The Media: The Cultural Attack on Feminism” (October 24, 2013).
  • “Three Wishes for the New Year: Peace, Kindness, and Dialogue in the Catholic Church” (December 27, 2013).
  • Seriously? Let’s Blame Feminism for the Creation of a ‘Wimpy’ Nation” (January 23, 2014).
  • “Encountering ‘the Change” as a Personal Exodus” (February 27, 2014).
  • “The Feminization of Poverty: The Impact of Migrant Mothers in the U.S." (April 24, 2014).
  • "Movement Within the Catholic Church – Time for Receptive Ecumenism?" (July 24, 2014).
  • #IceBucketChallenge - Raising Awareness While being Good Stewards" (August 28, 2014).
  • "Reviewing Gender and Career Progression in Theology and Religious Studies" (September 25, 2014).
  • "Reclaiming the Feminist Beginnings of America's Thanksgiving" (November 27, 2014).
  • "Research and the Dissertation: Getting Back to Basics" (January 22, 2015).
  • "Abuse does not have "Fifty Shades of Grey" (February 26, 2015).
  • "Passover and the Exodus: A Feminist Reflection on Action, Hope, and Legacy" (March 26, 2015).
  • "Is There a Such Thing as a Code of Ethics in Academia?" (August 27, 2015).
  • "Let my People Go! Modern Day Oppression and Exile" (October 2, 2015) - Cross published on Durham University's Dept. of Theology and Religion's Blog 
  • "What happens when Wonder Woman 'Leans In' and Winds up in Traction?" (February 21, 2016).
  • "Moving away from Normative Maternal Roles in the Catholic Church" (May 15, 2016).
Book Reviews
  • Review of Eve Levavi Feinstein, Sexual Pollution in the Hebrew Bible (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014) (in progress).
  • For publication in Review of Craig A. Monson, Divas I the Convent: Nuns, Music, & Defiance in 17th Century Italy (The University of Chicago, Chicago, 2012), in Religion and Gender (in progress). (TBD).


Centre for Catholic Studies

Post-Graduate researcher and Member.


Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East

Post-Graduate Member

Current Memberships
  • Society for the Study of Theology (U.K.)
  • Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society
  • European Association of Biblical Studies
  • Society of Biblical Literature
  • American Society of Oriental Research
  • American Institute of Archaeology
  • American Academy of Religion
  • Catholic Biblical Association
  • College Theological Society
  • Catholic Theological Society of America
  • Society for Old Testament Study
  • Association of Art Museums and Galleries
  • American Alliance of Museums


Documentary projects

Consultant with the producers for an upcoming documentary on the issue of spolia and the history of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. Anticipated release date is unknown; documentary is still in the research phase.

  • “Women and Religion,” working title currently under production. Interviewee for a documentary produced by Christina Paschyn, documentarian from Doha, Qatar ( ).


  • "Human Trafficking and the Bible," SBL Panel, November 2015, Moderator and Coordinator.
  • "Who Let the Dogs Out?" Presented 2015 Annual Meeting, EGLBS, Best Student Paper, Archaeology Section [Paper Peer-Reviewed and Published, Information below]/ 
  • “Women in the Church: Are We in a Position to Receive Receptive Ecumenism?” Fairfield University, Receptive Ecumenism Conference (June, 2014).
  • “Progress and Promise: Contributions of the Catholic Vowed Religious Women to Northeast Ohio,” John Carroll University, Celebration of Scholarship (April, 2014).
  • Progress and Promise: Contributions of the Catholic Vowed Religious Women to Northeast Ohio,” Ursuline University (March 17, 2014).
  • Moderation for Hebrew Scriptures I, Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society, Erie, PA (March 2014).
  • “Feminization of Poverty: Migrant Mothers, Immigration, and Sexual Trafficking,” Presentation at the United Nations for the 58th Annual Commission for the Status of Women (March 11, 2014)
  • “Motherhood in the 21st Century: Why is the U.S. 25th in the World?” Presentation at the National Convention for American Mothers, Inc. (April 27, 2013).
  • “Cyberbrides: Female Subjugation and Economic Enslavement.” Presentation at the United Nations for the 57th Annual Commission for the Status of Women (March 9, 2013).
  • “Progress & Promise: Sisters Serving Northeast Ohio: Past, Present, and Future.” Lecture series in conjunction with Ursuline College and a grant from the Sisters of Charity Foundation (Fall, 2012).
  • Mentoring and the Future of Religious Studies: Dialogue with the Students and Regional Director for Strategic Development, Graduate Student Panel Roundtable Presentation, Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society, Richfield, Ohio (March 2012).
  • “The Feminism and Religion Project,” Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religion, San Francisco, California (November, 2011).
  • “Letter to the Lost of Israel,” a historically accurate, fictional account of a female Messiah character. Presented at the Pedagogy Section at the Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society with Bridget Ludwa, Mark Levand, and Karen Witker, Richfield, Ohio (April, 2011).
  • “How to get Published?” Graduate Student Panel Roundtable Presentation, Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society, Richfield, Ohio (March, 2010).
  • “The Ethical Implications of Newborn Screening,” the 13th Conference of Genetics and Ethics in the 21st Century “Genomics and Personalized Medicine: Facts, Fiction, Future?,” Breckinridge, Colorado (July, 2009).
  • “Finding Hope in the Woman of the Stars: Exegesis of Revelation 12:1-6,” Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society, Salt Fork (Lore City), Ohio (March, 2009).
  • “Finding a Mustard Seed of Hope in a Mountain-Sized Conflict: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict through the eyes of the Children,” Panel Presentation, International Conference on Conflict Resolution Education, Cleveland, Ohio (March, 2008). 


  • Teacher’s Manual and “Power Point Presentations” for Robert S. Ellwood, Many Peoples, Many Faiths, 10th Edition (Pearson, 2014).
  • “My Lab” and Assessments for Mary Pat Fisher, Living Religions, 9th Edition (Pearson, 2013).


Research Interests
  • Cultural Syncretism, especially under conquest.
  • Hebrew Scriptures, with emphasis on literary discourse and early Jewish identity.
  • Cultural Memory and Identity.
  • Religious Syncrestism.
  • Literature and culture of Egypt and the Ancient Near East.
  • Intertextuality.
  • Biblical archaeology.
  • Art and Cultural Property Provenance Research.
  • Historical theology and social scientific criticism.
  • Gendered violence and religion.
  • Religion and the role of women, with emphasis on the biblical text.
  • Apocalypticism, myth and symbolism in the Bible.
  • Forced Migration and Exile.

Esteem Indicators

  • 2015: Best Student Paper: Archaeology Section, EGLBS

    Paper Presented: Who Let the Dog's Out? An Examination of Outside Cultural Influences in the Book of Tobit

  • 2012: Best Student Paper: Archaeology Section, EGLBS

    Hagia Sophia: Another Examination of Spolia and Symbolism through a Historical and Socio-Economic Lens

  • 2011: Best Student Paper: As voted by the editor's of Popular Archaeology Magazine

    Hagia Sophia: Political and Religious Symbolism in Stones and Spolia