Natalia Imperatori-Lee

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 374      Women and Western Religion

RELS 390      Sexuality and the Sacred

  • Research

    Dr. Imperatori-Lee’s research interests focus on Catholic ecclesiology, in particular the intersection of ecclesial identity with feminist and Latinx Catholic thought. Her book, Cuéntame, explores how narratives shape ecclesiology, which is the study of the church. She is also interested in the relationship between Catholic theology, sexuality, and education; the intersection of Mariology and ecclesiology; intercultural theology; gender studies; and the relationship of women, the poor and other marginalized groups to church structure and governance.

  • Publications and Scholarly Activities
    • Cuéntame: Narrative in the Ecclesial Present. Orbis Books, 2018.
    • “How Is Amoris Laetitia Being Received? Colonialism, Conscience, and Accompaniment” in Amoris Laetitia: A New Momentum for Moral Formation and Pastoral Practice, ed. Grant Gallicho and James F. Keenan, SJ. New York: Paulist Press, 2018.

    • “Hope” in A Pope Francis Lexicon, ed. Cindy Wooden and Joshua McElwee. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2018.

    • “Latina Lives, Latina Literature: A Narrative Camino in Search of the Sensus Fidelium” in The Sensus Fidelium and Moral Theology: Readings in Moral Theology 18, ed. Charles E. Curran and Lisa A. Fullam. Paulist, 2017.

    • “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.

  • Professional Experience and Memberships

    Dr. Imperatori-Lee has served on the governing boards of the Catholic Theological Society of America, and of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the U.S. She is a member of these organizations as well as the American Academy of Religion. She has also served on the board of FutureChurch.

  • Other

    Director, Catholic Studies Program