Carol Zaleski is a religious scholar and writer.
Zaleski previously taught at Harvard University, where she received her PhD in the Study of Religion, and is the Professor of World Religions at Smith College. She is the author of several acclaimed books on religion, including Otherworld Journeys, The Life of the World to Come and, with her husband Philip Zaleski, The Book of Heaven and Prayer: A History (New York Times notable book; Christian Science Monitor best nonfiction books of 2005). Also with her husband Philip she wrote in 2015 The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams  which received laudatory reviews from The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, and The Los Angeles Times. Zaleski is celebrated for her writings on the afterlife, which include the Encyclopædia Britannica articles on heaven, hell, and purgatory. Journalist Lisa Miller has called her "the mother of modern heaven studies." Her published lectures include the Ingersoll Lecture on Human Immortality at Harvard (“In Defense of Immortality”) and the Albert Cardinal Meyer Lectures at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary (published as The Life of the World to Come). She writes a regular column on faith for The Christian Century, where she is also editor-at-large, and her essays and reviews appear frequently in leading newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post, First Things, America, The New York Times Book Review. Her 2003 First Things essay on “The Dark Night of Mother Teresa” received attention as an early exploration of Mother Teresa’s recently publicized spiritual trials. In 2003, 2005, and 2008, she won the Associated Church Press Award of Excellence in Theological Reflection. Zaleski’s intellectual journey to Catholicism was included in the "How my mind has changed" series of reflections by noted theologians published at ten-year intervals by The Christian Century.
- "Religion Faculty, Smith College". Archived from the original on 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- Zaleski, Carol (1988). Otherworld Journeys. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 288. ISBN 978-0-19-505665-5.
- Zaleski, Carol (1996). The Life of the World to Come. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-19-510335-9.
- Zaleski, Carol (2000). The Book of Heaven. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 432. ISBN 978-0-19-511933-6.
- Zaleski, Carol (2005). Prayer: A History. New York: Houghton Mifflin. p. 415. ISBN 978-0-618-77360-2.
- Meacham, Jon (2005-12-25). "Tidings of Pride, Prayer, and Pluralism". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- "Best nonfiction 2005". The Christian Science Monitor. 2005-11-29. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- Zaleski, Carol (2012). "Heaven". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Zaleski, Carol (2012). "Hell". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Zaleski, Carol (2012). "Purgatory". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Miller, Lisa (2010). Heaven: our enduring fascination with the afterlife. New York. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-06-055475-0. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
Carol Zaleski is the mother of modern heaven studies.
- Zaleski, Carol. "In Defense of Immortality". First Things. 105 (August/September 2000): 36–42. Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- "Carol Zaleski Christian Century page". Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- Zaleski, Carol (2003). "The Dark Night of Mother Teresa". First Things. 133 (May): 24–7. Archived from the original on 2012-01-16. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- Weigel, George (2007-08-29). "Old News, Ancient Experiences". The Washington Post.
- "2003 Best of the Christian Press Winners". Associated Church Press. April 2004. Archived from the original (RTF) on 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2012-01-04..
- Zaleski, Carol (2010-01-12). "Slow-motion conversion (How my mind has changed series)". The Christian Century. Retrieved 2012-01-04..
- "Friends of Smith College Libraries Faculty Reading Recommendations". Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- Abernethy, Bob (2003-04-11). "Prayer during war; interview with Carol and Philip Zaleski". Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, Episode 632. PBS, Thirteen/WNET New York. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- Daniel, Missy (2003). "The Language of Paradise: An Interview with Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski" (PDF). PBS Thirteen/WNET Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly Viewer's Guide: 11–13. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- Kermode, Frank (2000-04-23). "Heaven, They're in Heaven". The New York Times Book Review. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
The Zaleskis are cheerfully learned.
- Clapp, Rodney (1988-10-07). "Rumors of Heaven". Christianity Today. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- Shweder, Richard A. (1987-06-14). "Little Bits of Heaven". The New York Times Book Review. Retrieved 2012-01-04.