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Melissa Browning
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Melissa Browning, Ph.D. is a community-based researcher who works at the intersection of public theology and public health. Her most recent project focuses on the ways in which marriage is an HIV risk factor for women in East Africa. Her most recent book, Risky Marriage: HIV and Intimate Relationships in Tanzania, builds on a year of fieldwork completed in Mwanza, Tanzania where women were asked to re-imagine Christian marriage as a space of safety and health for women.

Melissa holds a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from Loyola University Chicago and she teaches at Mercer University (McAfee School of Theology) in Atlanta, GA. Additional information about Melissa’s work can be found at her website:

Entries by Melissa Browning

Lending Our Voices to Kelly

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 8:47 AM

Last week, I wrote a blog post about Kelly Gissendaner's life and I'll admit that when I wrote the post I felt somewhat hopeless. I didn't think that changing the story would do much to save Kelly. I didn't think there was much we could do. But then...

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Meeting Kelly Gissendaner

(64) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 2:05 PM

Have you met Kelly? Not the mug shot that is in every news article, not the "first woman in 70 years to be executed in Georgia," not the woman who you might think ordered too much food for her last meal. I'm talking about Kelly Gissendaner, child of God, sinner...

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Advent, Genocide, and the Baby in the Manger

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 3:37 PM

Advent is my favorite time of year. The idea of waiting for hope to be born is irresistible and wonderful. When I was a kid, I memorized the entire Christmas story from the gospel of Luke for a Christmas event at church. Since my childhood, the words from Luke 2...

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Dare to Sit With Suffering (Genesis 12:1-4)

(8) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 9:47 AM

People weigh in on the morality of...

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On Teaching (and Activism)

(26) Comments | Posted August 15, 2013 | 5:03 PM

When I was a kid, the first day of class was all about the school supplies. Saying goodbye to summer seemed less dreadful with a fresh box of Crayola crayons and a Trapper Keeper in my backpack. Throughout my days as a student, this excitement of the first day of...

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Man of Steel: Apocalyptic Eco-Justice?

(6) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 5:00 PM

When it comes to superhero allegiance, our house sides with the Justice League. From the time my partner was given a Superman cape as a 5-year-old, he has always been a big fan. I bought him a Superman tattoo for Christmas the first year we were married. Ten years later...

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Climate Change and Setting the World on Fire

(76) Comments | Posted February 6, 2013 | 12:48 PM

It was Earth Day, 1988. I was in my fifth grade "Earth Science" class, a place where one might expect to talk about the importance of caring for the earth. But this was not what we were talking about that day. At least, we weren't...

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Bless All the Dear Children

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 10:09 AM

At the Christmas carol and candlelight service our family goes to each year, I had a hard time singing "Away in a Manger." The very mention of children, the image of a baby in a manger, reminded me of Newtown. The third verse of the song was where I had...

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The Nugget Boycott: Week Two

(62) Comments | Posted August 1, 2012 | 2:01 PM

It's been two weeks. I'm nearly through the detox period. OK, I'm exaggerating. I do (usually) eat other things besides those tasty chicken nuggets. But like a bad diet, when you've set something off limits, you really start to crave it.

One question I've been asked is, "Why boycott?"...

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2 Samuel 11:1-15: The Story of Patriarchy and HIV/AIDS

(79) Comments | Posted July 25, 2012 | 7:26 AM

This week, more than 20,000 people are meeting in our nation's capital for the 2012 International AIDS Conference. Activists, doctors, people living with HIV and AIDS, development workers, theologians, social scientists and all kinds of folks are currently attending this event.

In the...

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Chicken Nuggets and Family Values

(618) Comments | Posted July 18, 2012 | 6:57 PM

I have one fast food weakness -- an eight-pack of chicken nuggets in a white and red box. I could go years and never crave a fast food burger, but I'll admit I have a deep kinship with Chick-fil-A's version of fast food. As a kid growing up (Christian) in...

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