P. L. Gardella

P. L. Gardella, PhD

Professor, World Religions

Reid Hall, Room 420
Tuesday 2:00-3:00pm; Wednesday 2:00-3:30pm; Friday 11:30am-12:00pm; by appt TWF
(914) 323-5133

About Me

Professor Gardella loves the study of religions, both as a fascinating subject and for what religions reveal about history, cultures, human beings, and ultimate truth. Their personal history and family connections have given them a practitioner’s knowledge of Roman Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, and Jewish traditions. As a scholar and teacher, they stress the connections between religions and other aspects of life, such as sports, politics, economics, popular culture, and sexual customs. Professor Gardella has found that Manhattanville is a special place to teach and to study religion because of its history, its location, and the diversity of its faculty and student body. In addition to the books listed below, Professor Gardella hopes to complete books on the world’s religions in New York City and on birds in the world’s religions in the next few years.

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Current Courses
Introduction to World Religions
The Bible
Sexuality and Religion
The End of the World
Religion in America
The Psychology of Mystical Experience
Native American Religions (with Prof. Laurence Krute)
Religion and Violence (Honors Seminar)
The World’s Religions in New York City
Ph.D., Yale University
Master of Theological Studies, Harvard Divinity School
Bachelor of Arts, Harvard College
Feature Publications


Innocent Ecstasy: How Christianity Gave America an Ethic of Sexual Pleasure Updated Edition

Oxford University Press, 2016


"American Civil Religion: What Americans Hold Sacred"

New York: Oxford University Press, 2014


"American Angels: Useful Spirits in the Material World"

University Press of Kansas, 2007


"Domestic Religion: Work, Food, Sex and Other Commitments"

Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 1998


"Innocent Ecstasy: How Christianity Gave America an Ethic of Sexual Pleasure"

New York: Oxford University Press, 1985