Maxine is a theologian and lecturer researching gender in religion, especially Christian and Mormon theology. She has lectured in gender studies at the University of Utah, and guest lectured at UVU, BYU, Weber State, Harvard Divinity School, Salt Lake Theological Seminary, and SLC Community College, as well as presenting at religious studies conferences. She studied Humanities, English, and Gender Studies at BYU and the U. of U., and studied History and Religious Studies at the U. of U., Harvard, and other schools. She was a fellow with the Utah Humanities Council and at Harvard Divinity School.
She has authored or co-authored several books including Women & Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism, Mormon Faith in America, Getting Together With Yesterday, A History of Sanpete County, and was a contributor to Secrets of Mary Magdalene, Religion in America, and Latter-day Dissent. She has published articles, and edited many books, and contributed research or been cited in numerous books on Mormonism or religion. She has also created web resources about Mormon women.
She has served on several boards, including the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable, Orrin Hatch’s Women’s Council, the Utah Attorney General’s Safety Net Committee, Utah Issues, and Network, and has chaired Interfaith Week in Utah, plus sponsored many public programs on religion or women in religion. She has done corporate and professional consulting, and political lobbying, and has consulted for television and media projects, also appearing on ABC Nightline, PBS, A&E, CNN, BBC, and in TIME magazine, Vogue, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, Boston Globe, Chicago Times, Associated Press, Reuters, and Utah media.
After leaving the LDS Church as one of the “September Six” in 1993, Hanks studied and served in ministry, clergy work, and chaplaincy in various settings, including at Holy Cross for 13 years. In 2012, she returned to membership in the LDS Church, where she serves in her ward Young Women’s Presidency, and as a VT supervisor.