Eloise Hiebert Meneses

Chair, Department of Social Transformation; Professor of Cultural Anthropology; Program Director, MA in Theological and Cultural Anthropology


Dr. Meneses has taught anthropology for over 30 years. She has been at Eastern University since 1992, and has won the Lindback Award for excellence in teaching. Her ethnographic field research was in India, studying the lives of poor Dalit women, and resulting in the book Love and Revolutions: Market Women and Social Change in India. Dr. Meneses has research interests in economic anthropology, language and culture, ethnicity and globalization, ethnography as epistemology, and especially faith and science. She is also the primary facilitator of the On Knowing Humanity research project, which is associated with the MA in Theological and Cultural Anthropology (MATCA), and originally funded by the John Templeton Foundation. That project is drawing together scholars from across the country to consider innovative ways of incorporating Christian theological thinking into the theory and practice of anthropology through a peer-reviewed online journal, the On Knowing Humanity Journal, of which Dr. Meneses is the editor. Dr. Meneses has been a Fulbright scholar, written or edited six books and fourteen scholarly articles, won six awards/grants for research, and is a regular speaker at conferences and workshops.

Dr. Meneses’ full curriculum vitae.

The MATCA faculty team has written an article together that has been published in Current Anthropology.  It is entitled, “Engaging the Religiously Committed Other: Anthropologists and Theologians in Dialogue.”  Read the article.


PhD, Anthropology, University of California, San Diego


India, poverty, women, race and ethnicity, faith and science, global economic systems, international development, comparative religions and Christian missions.

Statement from Dr. Meneses

This is an exciting time to be working on a Christian approach to cultural anthropology. Anthropology is demonstrating a new openness to theology, investigating it not only for what it demonstrates about Christian communities, but also for what it can teach anthropologists about the human condition. Anthropology provides a powerful methodology for understanding people and cultures through ethnography around the world. Theology provides a larger framework for understanding the results and their significance. Here at Eastern, we include both disciplines in every classroom, set of readings, discussion, and written exercise.

Courses Taught
  • ANTH 101 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 251 - Discovery of Foreign Worlds (Ethnography)
  • ANTH 301 - Christianity, Anthropology, and Economic Systems
  • ANTH 320 - Language and Culture
  • ANTH 401 - Ideas in Anthropology
  • MTCA 502 - Integrated Anthropological Theory II
  • MTCA 570 - Faith-Based Ethnographic Methods
  • MTCA 600 - On Knowing Humanity Colloquia Series


  • Meneses, Eloise, 2018. Studying the Image: Critical Issues in Anthropology for Christians. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, Cascade Imprint.
  • Meneses, Eloise, 2007. Love and Revolutions: Market Women and Social Change in India. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
  • Meneses, Eloise, 1995. Incarnational Ministry: Planting Churches in Band, Tribal, Peasant, and Urban Societies. Second author to Paul G. Hiebert. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

Edited Books:

  • 2017. On Knowing Humanity: Insights from Theology for Anthropology. Edited by Eloise Meneses and David Bronkema. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
  • 2015. Christian Mission and Economic Systems: A Critical Survey of the Cultural and Religious Dimensions of Economies. Edited with John Cheong. William Carey Press.
  • Meneses, Eloise, 2009. The Gospel in Human Contexts. By Paul G. Hiebert. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals
  • Meneses, Eloise, 2014. "Engaging the Religiously Committed Other: Anthropologists and Theologians in Dialogue." With Lindy Backeus, David Bronkema, Eric Lett, and Ben Hartley. Current Anthropology, 55(1): 82-104.
  • Meneses, Eloise, 2012. "Transnational Identities and the Church: Examining Contemporary Ethnicity and Place." Mission Studies, 29: 62-78.
  • Meneses, Eloise, 2009. "Birds of the Air: the Christian Challenge to Culture in Defending the Marginalized." Missiology, XXXVII (3): 369-384.
  • Meneses, Eloise, 2007. "Faithful Witness: Postcritical Epistemology for Christians." Direction, 36(2): 129-143.
  • Meneses, Eloise, 2000. "Defeating the Baals: Balanced Christian Living in Different Cultural Systems." Co-authored with John E. Stapleford. The Christian Scholar's Review, XXX(1): 83-106.
  • Meneses, Eloise, 1994. "Race and Ethnicity: an Anthropological Perspective." Race, Sex and Class, 1(2): 137-146.
  • Meneses, Eloise, 1987. "Traders and Marginality in a Complex Social System." Ethnology, 26(4): 231-244.