Marcella Althaus-Reid


Few theologians have brought such a new angle to theology in recent decades as Marcella Althaus-Reid, the late Professor of Contextual Theology at New College, University of Edinburgh. Born in Rosario, in Argentinean province of Santa Fe in 1952, Althaus grew up in Buenos Aires where she studied at the Instituto Superior Evangelico de Estudios Teologicos (ISEDET) alongside the liberation theologian José Míguez Bonino and liberationist Old Testament scholar Severino Croatto. In her work with the Evangelical Methodist Church of Argentina she applied the insights of Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy and conscientization to social projects in the poorer areas of the city.

Althaus was invited to Scotland to work in the poor neighbourhoods of Dundee and Perth while she completed her doctorate at St. Andrews. In 1994 she completed her study on the influence of Paul Ricouer on liberation theology, and was subsequently appointed to professorship. She began to elaborate her major themes based in liberation and feminist theology, her contribution being to queer theology (of which she is considered a pioneer).

She would become associate editor of Studies in World Christianity journal and joined the editorial board of Concilium. She was also Director of the Queer Theology Project at the University of Edinburgh and the Director of the International Association for Queer Theology. Marcella Althaus-Reid died in 2009 (February 20) and was missed by her church, a Metropolitan Community Church (the denomination is LGBTQ oriented).

It would be in the field of queer theology that Marcella Althaus made her greatest achievement, with the books Indecent Theology (2000) and The Queer God (2003).

PUBLICATIONS (authored/edited)

  • Indecent Theology – 2000
  • The Queer God – 2003
  • From Feminist Theology to Indecent Theology – 2004
  • The Sexual Theologian: Essays On Sex, God And Politics: A Primer in Radical Sex and Queer Theology (Queering Theology series) – 2005
  • The Power of Erotic Celibacy: Queering Heterosexuality (Queering Theology series) – with Lisa Isherwood (author): Althaus-Reid (ed.) –  2006
  • Another Possible World (Reclaiming Liberation Theology) – 2007
  • Controversies in Body Theology (Controversies in Contextual Theology series) – with Lisa Isherwood (eds.) – 2007
  • Controversies in Feminist Theologies (Controversies in Contextual Theology series) – with Lisa Isherwood – 2007
  • Controversies in Political Theology (Controversies in Contextual Theology series) – with Thia Cooper (eds.) – 2007
  • Desire, Market, Religion (Reclaiming Liberation Theology series) – with Jung Mo Sung (author): Althaus-Reid (ed.) – 2007)
  • Trans/formations (Controversies in Contextual Theology series) – 2009
  • Liberation Theology and Sexuality – 2009
  • From Feminist Theology to Queer Theology – 2011
  • Beyond Liberation Theology: A Polemic (Reclaiming Liberation Theology series) – with Ivan Petrella (author): Althaus-Reid (ed.) – 2013