Laura Dunn, PhD

MA Yoga Studies
PhD Graduate Theological Union, MA University of Hawaii, BA University of Hawaii
MA Yoga Studies

Laura M. Dunn, Ph.D., is associate faculty at the Graduate Theological Union and coordinator of the Jesuit School of Theology’s writing program. She is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Dharma Studies, the flagship journal of the GTU’s Center for Dharma Studies. Laura draws from visual culture, sociology, and aesthetics to illuminate the affective and embodied nature of tantric contemplative theopraxis. Her monograph, Visualizing Power, is an interdisciplinary meditation on immersion into the tantric image of Par? ?akti, which appraises the capacity for tantric visualization practices to mediate the spatial-temporal distance between self and other. She is a Presidential Scholar, Newhall Fellow, and Interreligious Collaborative Research Fellow. Laura received her MA at the University of Hawaii and her Ph.D. at the GTU in Berkeley. She enjoys photography, nature, and the arts and lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, with her partner David and their cat, Hina.

  • “Tulasi Srinivas, The Cow in the Elevator: An Anthropology of Wonder” (book review), Asian Ethnology, 79/1 (2020).
  • Dunn, Laura, and Graham M. Schweig, editors. “Special Issue on Contemporary Yoga Studies: Philosophy, Practice, Ethics, & Applications.” Journal of Dharma Studies 4, no. 1 (Spring 2020).
  • “Yogin?-s in the Flesh: Power, Praxis, and the Embodied Divine Feminine,” Journal of Dharma Studies (Springer International), Fall 2018, Berkeley, CA.
  • “The Self-Emptying God(dess): Death and Salvation in the Iconographies of the Crucifixion and Chinnamast?,” Berkeley Journal of Religion and Theology (Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley), 4, no. 2, 2018.
  • “The Eye of the Beholder: Contemplation of the Tantric Goddess, Chinnamast?:” Parabola Magazine, Volume 41; Issue 1, Spring 2016: The Divine Feminine.
  • “The Shadow Side of Yoga,” ed. Carolyn Costin, Joe Kelly, in Yoga and Eating Disorders: Ancient Healing for a Modern Illness (New York: Routledge, 2016).
  • “Grace is Here! An Interview with Ram Dass”: Parabola Magazine, Volume 38; Issue 1, Spring 2013 Spirit in the World.


  • Shared Sacred Story Project, Senior Advisor and Project Secretary, Fetzer Institute, Michigan / Dec. 2021 – Sept. 2022
  • Seeing, Sensing, and Shaping ?akti: The Embodied Hermeneutics of Tantric S?dhana in Ganeshpuri, India, Jesuit School of Theology and the Center for Arts and Religion, Berkeley / October 2020
  • Interreligious Collaborative Research Fellow, “Yoga and Sexual Abuse,” GTU, Berkeley / 2018-2019
  • “A Cross-Cultural Inquiry into Religious Understanding: the Theory and Practice of Kataphatic and Apophatic Discourse,” Templeton Research and Writing Retreat, Marlboro / 2015

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

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Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.