Published: Feb. 26, 2010

Faculty conversations: Amy DeRogatis

Contact(s): Lauren Talley University Relations student writer office: (517) 353-4355

A classroom discussion sparked Religious Studies Professor Amy DeRogatis to begin writing the book, “Saving Sex:  Sexuality and Salvation in American Evangelicalism.”

A student asked where evangelical Christians learn about sex. DeRogatis wasn’t sure and she found that the Special Collections at the Michigan State University Library has one of the best sets of evangelical sex manuals.

DeRogatis has already published two articles which will become chapters in the book, and she’s working with an undergraduate research assistant on a third chapter about abstinence. She hopes to finish the book this spring.

DeRogatis finds the study of religion fascinating and says it’s important for everyone to have a basic understanding of the different religious beliefs of people in the United States. Studying religion at MSU isn’t about debating religious truths, but examining religious beliefs and trying to understand why so many people are moved by religion, she said.  

“I don’t think that it’s necessarily important that people have religious beliefs or that they find a religion,” DeRogatis said. “But in order to participate in American society and to understand who your conversation partners are, you must absolutely understand some very basics about religious traditions.”