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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