Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza

Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza (Cenad, Romania , 17 of April of 1938 ) is a German Catholic feminist theologian of Romanian origin. She is professor of theology at the Harvard School of Theology and holds the Krister Stendahl Chair of Sacred Scripture and Inerpretation.


He was born in Cenad, in the region Banat , in Romania in the Catholic community Swabian German – speaking. At the end of 1944 when the Russian navy advanced in Romania , his family decided to move to the south of Germany . Later they moved to Frankfurt where he attended local school. He graduated in Theology from the University of Würzburg in 1963 with the thesis “Der vergessene Partner” published in 1964 and received his doctorate in Theology from the University of Münster .

In 1967 he married Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, an American theologian who studied in Germany and a professor of Catholic studies , with whom he had a daughter in 1970. They had to emigrate to the United States because in Germany the faculties of Catholic theology are under ecclesiastical jurisdiction and Elisabeth did not obtain place. In the United States, she and her husband won first place at the Catholic University of Notre Dame in Indiana and later at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge , Massachusetts until 1988 to become a professor of theology at the Harvard Divinity School .

In 1983 she published her best-known work: In Memory of Her , subtitled “a feminist theological reconstruction of Christian origins1 in which it was published in English and translated into several languages ​​including Dutch, Japanese, Korean, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Swedish. It points to the recovery of the ignored role of women in the church.

Schüssler Fiorenza has coined the word ” kiriarcado ” in her book “But She Said: Feminist Practices in Biblical Interpretation” ( But She Said: Feminist Practices of Biblical Interpretation ).

On October 7, 1984 Schüssler was one of the signatories of the ” Catholic Declaration on Pluralism and Abortion, ” 2 published in the New York Times by Catholics for Choice calling for religious pluralism and debate within the Catholic Church On abortion subscribed by the 97 theologians and religious. 3

Among the numerous collaborations and biblical societies, she emphasizes her work in the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion of which she is co-founder and in Concilium magazine . Schüssler was the first woman to preside over the Biblical Literature Society and in 2001 was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences .

Feminist Theology

Los trabajos e investigaciones de Elisabeth Schüssler la llevaron a orientarse hacia una teología feminista inspirada en la teología de la liberación y en la teología política europea como ella misma explica: “He definido mi propia perspectiva teológica como una teología de liberación feminista y crítica comprometida con los análisis teológicos histórico-críticos, crítico-políticos y de liberación enraizada en mi experiencia y mi compromiso de mujer, cristiana y católica”.4 Considera no sólo que la interpretación bíblica es androcéntrica sino que una relectura de los textos bíblicos podría permitir combatir algunos de estos los prejuicios.5 La teóloga, hostil a las teorías feministas esencialistas que considera prisioneras del patriarcado, subraya por otro lado la complejidad de la opresión patriarcal que analiza como “un sistema complejo piramidal y jerárquico en el que las estructuras se entrecruzan y que afecta de manera diferente a las mujeres según las diversas situaciones a las que se enfrentan”.4 Esta opresión conjugaría diversos factores como el sexo, la clase social o la raza que la relectura feminista de Elisabeth Schüssler se propondrá resolver por la instauración de la “ekklesia de las mujeres”. Oponiéndose a la idea de una iglesia que reduce los mecanismos de segregación social que condena, ella concibe esta iglesia de las mujeres como un “lugar público de oposición que, a partir de un análisis crítico de las opresiones patriarcales, responde a los intereses y a las visiones feministas”.5

Personal life

In 1967 he married Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, an American theologian who studied in Germany and a professor of Catholic studies , with whom he had a daughter in 1970.

Published Works

  • Der vergessene Partner: Grundlagen, Tatsachen und Möglichkeiten der beruflichen Mitarbeit der Frau in der Heilssorge der Kirche (1964)
  • Priester für Gott: Studien zum Herrschafts- und Priestermotiv in der Apokalypse , NTA NF 7 (1972)
  • The Apocalypse (1976) – Full cast and crew
  • Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, Jude, Revelation. Proclamation Commentaries together with Fuller, Sloyan, Krodel, Danker ( 1977/1981 )
  • Invitation to the Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Apocalypse with Complete Text from the Jerusalem Bible (1981)
  • Lent. Proclamation II: Aids for Interpreting the Lessons of the Church Year. Series B, [together with Urban T. Holmes] (1981)
  • In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins (1983)
  • Bread Not Stone: The Challenge of Feminist Biblical Interpretation (1985)
  • Revelation: Vision of a Just World (1991)
  • But She Said: Feminist Practices of Biblical Interpretation (1992)
  • Discipleship of Equals: A Critical Feminist Ekklesialogy of Liberation (1993)
  • Jesus: Miriam’s Child, Sophia’s Prophet: Critical Issues in Feminist Christology (1994)
  • The Power of Naming (1996)
  • Sharing Her Word: Feminist Biblical Interpretation in Context (1998)
  • Rhetoric and Ethic: The Politics of Biblical Studies (1999)
  • Jesus and the Politics of Interpretation (2000)
  • Wisdom Ways: Introducing Feminist Biblical Interpretation (2001)
  • The ninth chapter of Transforming the Faiths of our Fathers: Women Who Changed American Religion , edited by Ann Braude. (2004)
  • The Power of the Word: Scripture and the Rhetoric of Empire (2007)
  • The Transforming Vision: Explorations in Feminist The * logy (2011)
  • “Changing the Paradigms: Toward a Feminist Future of the Biblical Past.” In Future of the Biblical Past , 289-305. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012.
  • Changing Horizons: Explorations in Feminist Interpretation (2013)

In English:

  • But she said. Feminist practices of biblical interpretation . 1996. ISBN 978-84-8164-130-1
  • Critical feminist Christology . December 2000. ISBN 978-84-8164-430-2


  1. Back to top↑ Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza. “In memory of her .” Accessed November 15, 2016 .
  2. Back to top↑ Miller, Patricia (2014-05-20). Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church (in English) . Univ of California Press. ISBN  9780520276000 . Consulted the 2016-11-15 .
  3. Back to top↑ Bunge, Marcia J. (2001-01-01). The Child in Christian Thought (in English) . Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN  9780802846938 . Consulted the 2016-11-15 .
  4. ↑ Jump to:a b Melançon, Louise (1996). «La théologie féministe comme théologie critique. Pratiques d’interprétation de la Bible selon Élisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza » (in French) . Laval théologique et philosophique, vol. 52 nº1 pag. 55-56.
  5. ↑ Jump to:a b Dubois Jean-Daniel. «Schüessler Fiorenza (Elisabeth) In his memoir, Essai de reconstruction des origines chrétiennes selon la théologie féministe» (in French) . Archives de sciences sociales des religions Année 1987 Volume 64 Numéro 2 pp. 328-329 . Accessed November 15, 2016 .