Until her untimely death in February, 2009, Marcella Althaus-Reid was a leading Latin American feminist liberation theologian, probably best known for her pioneering work in using “queer theory” for Christian theology.

Marcella Althaus-Reid was born in Rosario, Argentina and received her first degree through a world-renowned center in Buenos Aires for the study of liberation theology in Latin America. She earned her PhD in 1994 from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and eventually became professor of contextual theology at the Divinity School of the University of Edinburgh.

Prior to that academic position, Professor Althaus-Reid trained for the ministry of the Methodist Church of Argentina, where she also developed expertise in the method of “conscientization,” pioneered by the Brazilian educator and activist Paulo Freire. She put that training to use in social and community projects supported by the church in particularly poverty-stricken areas of Buenos Aires. She later established similar projects in Dundee and Perth (Scotland).

Her first book, Indecent Theology (2000), quickly raised her profile throughout the theological world, and with the publication of The Queer God (2004), she was on the forefront of a brand new, exciting, as well as controversial field in the academic study of theology.

To honor Professor Althaus-Reid’s pioneering spirit and to encourage even more work at the intersection of scholarship and advocacy, CLGS inaugurated an annual award in her name for the best student essay in queering religion and theology. This award is open to any student enrolled at one of the member schools of the Graduate Theological Union and is awarded at the commencement exercises of Pacific School of Religion. Nominations are made by both regular and adjunct faculty members throughout the GTU. For more information on the award, contact Sharon Fennema at sfennema@psr.edu.