Picture of  Heidi Epstein

Heidi Epstein Emerita Professor

Research Area(s)

  • Feminist and Queer Theologies
  • Women in Western Religions
  • Theories of Sacred Music in Western Religions
  • Religion and Pop Music
  • New Musicological Analysis of Biblical Texts Set to Music


  • Ph.D., Religious Studies, McGill University, Montreal, 2000
  • B.Ed., Secondary Education, University of New Brunswick,, 1993 (magna cum laude)
  • M.A., Religious Studies, McGill University, 1990
  • B.Mus., Music History, McGill University, 1984. (Practical studies in Church Organ)

Research Projects

  • "Wiring the Shulammite for Ecological Ends: Aesthetic Paradoxes in Barry Truax's Song of Songs"
  • Monograph:  Amatory Interventions:  The Song of Songs' Queer Musical Career.
  • "Doric Boot-Straps:  A Musical Semiotics of Muscular Christianity"
  • "Foul Ooze:  The Symboloc Interplay of Music and Blood in Hildegard's Hymn to St. Ursula and the 10 000 Martyrs

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • “Pitched Battles: The Revelatory Power of Feminist and Queer Musicologies,” The Oxford Handbook of Music and Christian Theology, Vol. 1, Method (Maeve Heaney and Bennett Zon, eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming (2024).
  • “Hypo-Allergenic Musicologies: Brown and Hopps’ Unsung, Liberationist Allies,” International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church, Volume 20, 2020, Issue 1 (pub. March 19, 2020), pp. 23-37.
  • "Till the Day Breathes and the Shadows Flee: The Song of Songs and the Spectral Turn"  (peer review submission tbd)
  • "Music and The Song of Songs: A Critical Introduction," Oxford Handbook on the Song of Songs, Fiona Black, ed. OUP
  • "My Beloved is a Bass Line: Musical, De-colonial Interventions in Song Criticism and Sacred Erotic Discourse" The Bible and Critical Theory, 13:1 (2017): 54-83.
  • “Post-War Trauma and Postmodern Love: Musical Double Entendres ‘in’ the Song of Songs Biblical Interpretation 22:3 (2014): 253-291. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/15685152-00223p02
  • "Sick with Love: The Musical Symptoms of a Shtetl-Bound Shulammite in Waszinki's Dybbuk," The Bible and Posthumanism. Semeia Studies Series, Society of Biblical Literature. Jennifer Koosed, ed. 2014. 105-136.
  • "Penderecki's Iron Maiden: Intimacy and Other Anomalies in the Canticum canticorum salomonis,Bible Trouble: Queer Reading at the Boundaries of Biblical Scholarship. Semeia Studies Series, Society of Biblical Literature. Ken Stone and Teresa Hornsby, eds. 2011. 99-130.
  • "Sour Grapes, Fermented Selves: Musical Shulammites Modulate Subjectivity," The Bible and Critical Theory, Volume 5/1 (2009): (electronic journal).
  • "Chastening Tale: Refiguring Woman Across the Christian Fundamentalist-Feminist Divide," Fundamentalism and Women in World Religions, Arvind Sharma and Katherine K. Young, eds.  New York: T. and T. Clark, 2007.
  • Melting the Venusberg: A Feminist Theology of Music, New York: Continuum Publishing Group, 2004.
  • "Re-Vamping the Cross: Galas's Musical Mnemonic of Promiscuity," Theology and Sexuality, Volume 15 (2001): 57-77.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Religion, Globalisation, and Social Justice
  • Gender and God-Talk
  • Sex, God, Rock n' Roll: Re-vamping the Sacred
  • History of Christian Thought
  • Women and Western Religious Traditions
  • Seminar on Religion and Embodiment
  • RLST 216: Religion and Politics on Film

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Planning Committee for Graduate Program in Women and Gender Studies
  • U of S Religious Studies Undergraduate and Graduate Committees
  • Member of the U of S College of Graduate Studies and Research
  • CAUT Defense Fund Trustee
  • Chair of Graduate Studies, Dept. of Religion and Culture
  • PhD Dissertation Committee: The Revd David Kim-Cragg (U of S History Dept.), "Religious Transnationalism in the Contact Zone:  A History of the Korean-Canadian Church Partnership during the Korean Democratization Movement, 1970-79"