Wioleta Polinska

Professor of Religious Studies; Chairperson, Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy

Religious Studies


+1 630 637 5317


She currently serves as Chair, Philosophy and Religous Studies Department.   In the past, she coordinated Gender and Women's Studies Program and served as an Associate Editor of The International Journal of the Humanities. 

Her recent research and publications are in the area of Buddhist-Christian exchange, particularly as it relates to ecological, economic and psychological aspects (Buddhist-Christian Studies, The International Journal of the Humanities, Journal of Religion and Society).  Her chapter, "Food, Bodies and Ecosystems: Insights from Catholic and Buddhist Contemplative Traditions" has been published in Commun(icat)ing Bodies: Body as a Medium in Rligious Symbol Systems.  She has also published in the field of gender and religion, and religion and art.

Dr. Polinska is a member of the Executive Committee of AAUP chapter at North Central College.  She also organizes a Contemplative Series that features members of different religions who offer different forms of contemplative practices to the whole college community.  Part of the Series are mindfulness meditations, a secular form of contemplation employed in many medical and psychology centers accross the country.

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Selected Scholarship

“Religion and Happiness: A Buddhist-Christian Response,” The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies 13 (2015): 67-80.

“In Defense of Frugality: Insights from Science and Green Contemplatives across Traditions,” Buddhist-Christian Studies 35 (2015): 147-161.

Food, Bodies and Ecosystems: Insights from Catholic and Buddhist Contemplative Traditions” in Commun(icat)ing Bodies: Body As a Medium in Religious Symbol Systems, ed.  Anna-Katharina Hopflinger, Stefanie Knauss, Alexander D. Ornella. Zurich, Switzerland: Theologischer Verlag, 2014.

 “In Defense of Frugality: Insights from Science and Green Contemplatives,” Buddhist-Christian Studies. Submitted. June 30, 2013; under revision.

“’Till Death Do Us Part Till Death Do Us Part’?: Buddhist Insights on Marriage,” Buddhist-Christian Studies 30 (2010): 29-40.

 “The Making and Unmaking of Prejudice: An Interchange between Psychology and Religion,” Journal of Religion and Society 11 (2009): 1-21.

 “Christian-Buddhist Dialogue on Loving the Enemy,” Buddhist-Christian Studies 27 (2007): 89-110.

”Safely Bloody? The Not so Innocent Devotion to the Passion of Christ,” The International Journal of the Humanities 5 (2007): 161-168.

Courses Taught

REL 235: Sexuality and Christianity

REL 245: Religion, Ethics and Film

REL 325: Jesus and Buddha: Spiritualities of West and East

REL 350: Gender and World Religions

REL 330: Contemporary Christian Theologies

REL 240: Religion in the United States