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Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (1938–)

Medi Ann Volpe

Subject Religion » Christianity

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics theology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405135078.2009.00077.x


Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza is Krister Stendahl Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, where she teaches New Testament ethics and rhetoric, feminist theory, biblical interpretation, and theology. Although she was born in Romania in 1938, her family fled to Germany during World War II, and Schüssler Fiorenza was raised and educated in Germany. As a young woman desiring to become a theologian, Schüssler Fiorenza was the first woman to complete the course of study at the University of Würtzberg for those training to become Catholic priests. She continued her academic training in the Catholic Theological Faculty in Münster, where she studied New Testament and early Christianity. Her struggle for acceptance in a male-dominated field shaped Schüssler Fiorenza's interests and methodology. In her first scholarly works Schüssler Fiorenza began the program of teaching, research, and advocacy that has marked her career. The core of her academic project is the recovery of women's voices in the history of the church in a distinctively feminist-theological key. Schüssler Fiorenza's early work focused on the book of Revelation, offering a political reading of the text. Rather than concentrating her analysis on the otherworldly dimension of the Apocalypse, she suggested that the text communicates a vision of a just world. The flavor of her rendering of this biblical material permeates ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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