Dr. Marilyn Harran

Dr. Marilyn Harran

Professor, Director, Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education
Stern Chair in Holocaust Education
Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Department of Religious Studies, Department of History
Office Location: Leatherby Libraries 404
Office Hours: Wednesday 2-4 pm and by appointment
Phone: 714-532-6002
Scholarly Works:
Digital Commons
Scripps College, Bachelor of Arts
Stanford University, Master of Arts
Stanford University, Ph.D.


Marilyn J. Harran is professor of history and religious studies, holder of the Stern Chair in Holocaust Education, and the founding director of the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education and the Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library at Chapman University where she teaches courses on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.  In her teaching and research, she draws upon a strong background in European history, particularly that of the Reformation, for which she has contributed articles and chapters in several volumes, as well as the monographs, Luther on Conversion:  The Early Years (Cornell University Press) and Martin Luther:  Learning for Life (Concordia Publishing House) and the edited volume Luther and Learning:  The Wittenberg University Luther Symposium (Susquehanna University Press).  Dr. Harran was a contributing writer and consultant to The Holocaust Chronicle.  As founding director of the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education, she has established a multi-faceted program with academic minor, distinguished lecture series, library, and community outreach, including a contest reaching 5,000 middle and high school students each year. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and the International Research & Exchanges Board.  She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a Mellon Fellow at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Spirit of Anne Frank Award in 2008.   She is currently working on several projects, including co-authoring a Holocaust survivor memoir, and is a member of the governing board of the Association of Holocaust Organizations.

Publications by Dr. Harran


  • Luther on Conversion: The Early Years (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1983).
  • Edited Luther and Learning: The Wittenberg University Luther Symposium (Selinsgrove: Susquehanna University Press, 1985).
  • Martin Luther--Learning for Life (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1997).
  • Contributing writer, The Holocaust Chronicle (Chicago: Publications International, Ltd., 2000) (now in fifth printing).

Chapters and Articles

  • "The Concept of Conversio in the Early Exegetical Writings of Martin Luther," Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, vol. 72 (1981), 13-33.
  • "Conversion and Transformation in Luther's Early Theology," in Eric W. Gritsch, ed., Encounters with Luther, Volume 2: Lectures, Discussions, and Sermons at the Martin Luther Colloquia, 1975-79 (1982), 202-16.
  • "Luther and Freedom of Thought," in Manfred Hoffmann, ed., Martin Luther and the Modern Mind: Freedom, Conscience, Tolerance, Rights (New York and Toronto: Edwin Mellen Press, 1985), 191-236.
  • "Suicide," in Mircea Eliade, ed., The Encyclopedia of Religion (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1987), vol. 14, 125-131. Also in Lawrence E. Sullivan, ed., Death, Afterlife, and the Soul (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1989), 21-30.
  • "The Contemporary Applicability of Luther's Pedagogy: Education and Vocation," Concordia Journal, vol. 16, no. 4 (October, 1990), 319-332.
  • Contributor (2 articles) The Encyclopedia of the Reformation (Oxford University Press, 1995).
  • Contributed 8 invited articles to The Reference Guide to Holocaust Literature (St. James Press, 2002).
  • "Reflections on Martin Luther and Childhood Education." On-line article in Journal of Lutheran Ethics, November 2003.
  • "An Unlikely Setting: Holocaust Education in Orange County," in Myrna Goldenberg and Rochelle L. Millen, eds., Testimony, Tensions, and Tikkun: Teaching the Holocaust in Colleges and Universities (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2007), 249-259.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Harran, Marilyn J. 2023. "Kenneth Austin. The Jews and the Reformation New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2020. Pp. 288." Austrian History Yearbook. Cambridge University Press, 1-2. DOI: https://doi.org.10.1017/S0067237822000728
2023. Exhibition. With Jessica MyLymuk I curated the invited exhibit "20 Years of the Holocaust Art & Writing Contest" at Merage Jewish Community Center.for community-wide observance of Yom HaShoah.
With Lindsay Shen (and the support of Jessica MyLymuk), I co-curated the exhibit "Messengers of Memory" at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. The exhibit opened in April and will continue through the end of November 2019. I also co-curated a one evening poster exhibit in April 2019 at the Segerstrom Center as part of the "Defiant Requiem" concert.
Invited review of Scott Hendrix, Martin Luther: Visionary Reformer, for Theological Studies: A Journal of Academic Theology. To be published fall 2016 or spring 2017.
2nd printing of Leon Leyson with Marilyn J. Harran and Elisabeth B. Leyson, The Boy on the Wooden Box, Atheneum, an imprint of Simon and Schuster.
Marilyn Harran (text selection), Nina Lenoir (direction), Don Guy (lighting and technical coordination) and Jan Osborn (text consultation). A readers' theatre performance of excerpts from two works by Elie Wiesel, "King Solomon and His Magic Ring" and "The Golem." Seven student performers.
Leon Leyson with Marilyn J. Harran and Elisabeth B. Leyson, The Boy on the Wooden Box. New York: Atheneum, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, 2013.
Introduction to chapter on the Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library, The Chapman University Collections, ed. Mary Platt
Curator, Exhibits, Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library, Chapman University
Historical reviewer, USC Shoah Foundation Institute Living Histories Project (for credit see dornsife.usc.edu/vhi/education/livinghistories/credits.html