Cristina Traina

Professor of Religion
Department of Religious Studies
Chair, Department of Religious Studies
Office: Crowe Hall, 1860 Campus Drive Rd., 4-155
Phone: (847) 491-2938
Office hours: Wednesdays 1:20 pm. - 3:15 p.m. (Winter 2015)

Cristina L. H. Traina is a student of Christian theology and ethics, with emphasis on Roman Catholic and feminist thought. She received her Ph.D. in theology from the University of Chicago Divinity School and has been a member of the Department of Religious Studies since 1992. Areas of special interest include childhood; the ethics of touch in relations between unequals; sexuality and reproduction; ecology; justice issues in bioethics; economic and immigration justice; and method.  Traina favors an interdisciplinary approach to ethics, drawing on research in philosophy, anthropology, psychology, history, and other fields.

She is the author of Natural Law and Feminist Ethics: the End of the Anathemas (Georgetown 1999). Her monograph The Sensual Mother: Maternal Experience and the Boundaries of Sexual Ethics, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press in 2010. Other recent projects include work on the history of popular American Catholic views of the connection between marriage and sexuality and collaborative interdisciplinary research on religion and assisted reproduction, as well as work on the ethics of American economic dependence on low-wage domestic and foreign labor. Her current work focuses on the moral agency and economic and labor rights of children.

Professor Traina regularly teaches the following courses:

  • Christian Ethics
  • Introduction to Christianity
  • Catholic Social Ethics
  • Post-Vatican Catholic Theology II
  • Foundations of Christian Thought III

In any given year she also offers courses on religious visions of maternity, fertility, or childhood; the senior thesis seminar; or graduate seminars.

She has served as a board member of the Society of Christian Ethics and has received the Weinberg College Teaching Award.

Selected Works


Erotic Attunement: Parenthood and the Ethics of Sensuality between Unequals (University of Chicago Press, 2011).

Feminist Ethics and Natural Law:  The End of the Anathemas (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1999).

The Sensual Mother:  Maternal Experience and the Boundaries of Sexual Ethics (working title; University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2010).


“What Has Paris to Do with Augsburg?  Natural Law and Lutheran Ethics.” The Journal of Lutheran Ethics. Forthcoming 2010.

“Old Wine, Old Wineskins: Nanotechnology and Justice.”  Forthcoming 2010.

“Ovarian Tissue Preservation and Bioethical Discourse.”  In Oncofertility: Reflections from the Humanities and Social Sciences. Edited by Teresa K Woodruff, Laurie Zoloth, Lisa Campo-Engelstein, and Sarah Rodriguez. Springer: forthcoming 2010.

“Feminist Natural Law.”  Accepted by Concilium. Forthcoming 2010.

“For the Sins of the Parents: Roman Catholic Ethics and the Politics of Family.” In Prophetic Witness -- Catholic Women's Strategies for Reform, ed. Colleen Griffith, The Church in the 21st Century Center (New York:  Crossroad, 2009), 114-122.

“Children and Moral Agency.”  Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 29 no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2009):  19-37.

Compatible Contradictions:  Religion and the Naturalization of Assisted Reproduction, chair, with Eugenia Georges, Marcia Inhorn, Susan Kahn, and Maura Ryan.  In Altering Nature, Volume II:  Religion, Biotechnology, and Public Policy, ed. B. Andrew Lustig, Baruch A. Brody, and Gerald P. McKenny. Philosophy and Medicine 98.  [n.p.]: Springer, 2008, 15-85.

“Popular Catholic Sexual Ethics.”  In Twentieth-Century Global Christianity, ed. Mary Farrell Bednarowski.  A People’s History of Christanity, vol. 7, ed. Dennis R. Janz.  Minneapolis:  Fortress Press, 2008.

“Captivating Illusions:  Sexual Abuse and the Ordering of Love,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 28 no. 1 (Summer 2008): 183-208.

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