Natalia Imperatori-Lee

Associate Professor

Religious Studies


  • PHD, University of Notre Dame
  • MA, University of Chicago
  • BA, Fordham University

Courses Taught

RELS 110      The Nature and Experience of Religion

RELS 202       U.S. Latino/a Catholicism

RELS 220      Vatican II

RELS 225      Contemporary Catholicism

RELS 390      Sexuality and the Sacred

  • Research

    Dr. Imperatori-Lee’s research interests focus on Catholic ecclesiology, in particular the intersection of popular religion, devotion, ecclesial identity. She is also interested in issues in U.S. Latino/a theology, including the intersection of Mariology and ecclesiology, theological trends in the Catholic Spanish-speaking world, and the relationship of women, the poor and other marginalized groups to church structure and governance.

  • Publications and Scholarly Activities
    • “Unsettled Accounts: Latino/a Theology and the Church in the Third Millennium” in A Church with Open Doors: Catholic Ecclesiology for the Third Millennium, ed. Richard Gaillardetz and Edward Hahnenberg. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2015

    • “Father Knows Best: Theological Mansplaining and the Ecclesial War on Women” in The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 31:2 (Fall 2015), 89-107.

    • “Sin, Intimacy, and the Genuine Face of the Church: A Response to Ormund Rush” in Theological Studies 74 (2013), 804-807.

    • “Hombres, Hembras, Hambres: Narration, Correction, and the Work of Ecclesiology” in The Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology, November 2011., 1-16.

    • "Mother Superior, Mother Inferior? Mary in the Thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar." Listening Journal of Religion and Culture 44(Spring, 2009): 129-142.

    • “The Challenge and Promise of Hispanic Marian Devotion,” in Inculturation and the Church in North America. T. Frank Kennedy, SJ, editor.  New York: Crossroad/Herder, 2006. 

  • Professional Experience and Memberships

    Dr. Imperatori-Lee is a board member of the Catholic Theological Society of America, a member of the American Academy of Religion, and of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the U.S.

  • Other

    Director, Catholic Studies Program