Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio

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Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio
Danielle Tumminio by Chion Wolf.jpg
Danielle Tumminio speaking on the Colin McEnroe Show in 2010
Born Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Other names Danielle Hansen
Education Yale University (BA, 2003, MDiv, 2006, STM, 2008)
Occupation writer, life coach, priest, theologian
Spouse(s) Eric Hansen (2010-present)
Website danielletumminio.com

Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio is an Episcopal priest, theologian, a certified life coach and spinning instructor, and the author of God and Harry Potter at Yale: Teaching Faith and Fantasy Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom. She was the instructor of the "Christian Theology and Harry Potter" seminar at Yale University in the spring of 2008; in 2011, she repeated the course at Tufts University.[1] Tumminio has also presented material on the intersection between theology and the Harry Potter series at the Infinitus Symposium in Orlando, Florida in 2010,[2] the Portus Symposium in Dallas, Texas, in the summer of 2008,[3] and she chaired the panel on Harry Potter and Religion at the 2008 American Academy of Religion conference.[4] Her teaching has been praised by Harry Potter commentator John Granger on his Hogwarts Professor website.[5]

Beliefs about Christianity and Harry Potter[edit]

Tumminio stands in opposition to those in Christian circles who call the Harry Potter series heretical based upon the characters' use of witchcraft. She has said that in order to consider whether they truly are heretical, Christians must analyze whether the writings of J.K. Rowling violate a number of core theological doctrines, including sin, evil, sacrifice, and grace.[6] To that end, she offered the Yale seminar in order to offer students an opportunity for sustained discussion about the status of the series. She later used that sustained discussion as the basis for her first book, God and Harry Potter at Yale: Teaching Faith and Fantasy Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom. She has maintained that the books are not heretical and are in fact powerful tools for teaching theology to curious academics, seekers, and faithful Christians.[6]

Beliefs about Marriage[edit]

In Dec 2013, Tumminio wrote a blog post[7] for CNN citing support for the Utah Federal District Court decision of Brown v. Buhman[8] which ruled parts of Utah's laws banning polygamy to be unconstitutional, stating "I have become a supporter of them and their lifestyle, though I certainly can understand why others remain opposed...It’s a natural extension for those Christians who support same-sex marriage on theological grounds." Criticism of her statements resulted in a clarifying statement stating she was not advocating for a change in the Episcopal Church's official position opposing polygamous marriage.[9]


Tumminio has authored various editorials and feature articles on religious issues, many of which focus on the intersection between Christianity and popular culture. Her work has appeared in publications including CNN's Belief Blog,[10] The Guardian,[11] The Christian Century,[12] State of Formation,[13] and the Yale Daily News.[14] She also regularly blogs for Huffington Post.[15] She has also appeared several times on the television show "Sister Wives."


Tumminio has been interviewed for various national and international media outlets. Her take on Christianity's role in the Harry Potter series has been featured on televised broadcasts including CNN, Today Show Australia, and the national Canadian news talk show Connect with Mark Kelley.[16] She has also appeared in radio broadcasts, including the Colin McEnroe Show[17] and the nationally syndicated Bob and Sheri Show.[18] Her interviews have been featured in print publications including Christianity Today,[19] and Ministry Values.[6]

In 2011, Tumminio appeared twice as a guest on the television show "Sister Wives." On the show, she asked the family questions about their marriage and religion and arranged for them to speak in an academic context.

Religious upbringing and commitments[edit]

Tumminio is ordained in the Episcopal Church of the United States, the tradition in which she was raised. She grew up singing in the girls' choir of the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, which she credits for giving her extensive biblical, theological, and musical training at an early age. She sang during her college and graduate school years with the choir of Christ Church in New Haven, Connecticut. She also was a member of the Yale Glee Club. She credits music as a powerful force in her ordination discernment.


Tumminio is a three time graduate of Yale University, where she studied with prominent theologians Marilyn McCord Adams, Emilie Townes, Miroslav Volf, and Serene Jones. She pursued doctoral studies at Boston University, beginning in 2008 under the direction of Shelly Rambo and Bryan Stone; her studies focus on the intersection between theology, trauma, and infertility.[20] At Boston University, she studied with Elie Wiesel.

Life and career coaching[edit]

Tumminio is a licensed life and career coach[21] and is certified through CoachU. As a coach, she works with clients across North America to add meaning and success to their personal and professional lives.[21]


As a child, Tumminio was a first-place winner on the PBS game show "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego".[22]

Tumminio attended high school with comedian Amy Schumer.[23]


  1. ^ "Pottermania lives on in college classrooms". cnn.com. 
  2. ^ "Linksys wireless g driver wmp54gs". infinitus2010.org. 
  3. ^ "Linksys wireless g driver wmp54gs". portus2008.org. 
  4. ^ "Annual Meeting". aarweb.org. 
  5. ^ "Hogwarts Professor at Yale". Hogwarts Professor. 
  6. ^ a b c stephen ryan. "Ministry Values.com - ChristianTheology and Harry Potter". ministryvalues.com. 
  7. ^ "How I learned to love polygamy". cnn.com. 
  8. ^ https://ecf.utd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?211cv0652-78
  9. ^ "Episcopal priest clarifies her support for polygamy". anglicanink.com. 
  10. ^ "My Take: A Royal pain". cnn.com. 
  11. ^ Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio. "Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio". the Guardian. 
  12. ^ "Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio - The Christian Century". The Christian Century. 
  13. ^ "Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio -". stateofformation.org. 
  14. ^ "Viewers of Le's records may be fired". Yale Daily News. Archived from the original on 2008-01-17. 
  15. ^ "Danielle Tumminio". huffingtonpost.com. 
  16. ^ "Shows - CBC Player". cbc.ca. 20 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "WNPR News - Connecticut's Public Media Source for News and Ideas". yourpublicmedia.org. 
  18. ^ "107.9 The Link". The Link. 
  19. ^ blog.christianitytoday.com/ctentertainment/2010/11/harry-potter-is-a-good-christi-1.html
  20. ^ "Yale Divinity School". yale.edu. Archived from the original on 2009-04-18. 
  21. ^ a b "Life & Career Coaching". danielletumminio.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-14. 
  22. ^ List of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? episodes
  23. ^ South Side High School (Rockville Centre, New York)#Notable alumni