Katharina Von Kellenbach

Professor of Religious Studies

Katharina Von Kellenbach


Katharina von Kellenbach is a professor of Religious Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Her areas of expertise include Holocaust Studies, Jewish-Christian relations, feminist theology and interreligious dialogue. She spent the academic year 2018-2019 at the University of Bielefeld in Germany after being awarded a prestigious grant of over 500,000 Euros through the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZIF). Accompanied by her colleague Matthias Buschmaier, a professor of literature at the University of Bielefeld, she led a research group titled “Felix Culpa: Guilt as a Culturally Productive Force,” to exchange theoretical perspectives on the notion of “productive guilt.” The project closely examined the intersections of violence, shame and guilt to consider how guilt consolidates social orders in the cultural production of jurisprudence, art, literature and religion. In the academic year 2019-2020, von Kellenbach is the Corcoran Visiting Chair of Christian-Jewish relations at Boston College. While there, she will continue her research on Jewish and Christian perspectives on guilt, complete her book, “Composting Guilt: The Purification of Memory after Atrocity,” teach a graduate-level course and organize a conference around themes of Jewish and Christian memory and guilt.

Areas of Research Specialization

  • Feminist Theology
  • Jewish-Christian Relations
  • Holocaust Studies

Areas of Teaching Specialization

  • Christianity
  • Ethics
  • Biblical Studies


  • in Evangelical-Lutheran Theology at kirchliche Hochschule Berlin (West),
  • in Evangelical-Lutheran Theology at University of Göttingen,
  • Ph.D. in Religion at Temple University,


  • The Mark of Cain: Guilt and Denial in the Lives of Nazi Perpetrators. New York: Oxford University Press., 2013

    Uses previously unpublished archival materials to examine the presence and texture of guilt in the lives of perpetrators of atrocity over several decades in post-war Germany.