Marcella Althaus-Reid

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Marcella Maria Althaus-Reid (Rosario, Santa Fe, 1952[1]Edinburgh, 20 February 2009) was Professor of Contextual Theology at New College, University of Edinburgh. When appointed, she was the only woman professor of theology at a Scottish University, and the first woman professor of theology at New College in its 160 year history.[2] She was born in Rosario, province of Santa Fe, Argentina, and graduated with a Bachelor in Theology Degree from ISEDET, the Protestant University Institute in Buenos Aires.[3] She completed her Ph.D at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. Her interests included Liberation Theology, Feminist theology and Queer Theology.

Prof Althaus-Reid died on Friday 20 February 2009, in Edinburgh, Scotland.


Althaus-Reid was born in Rosario, Argentina. She grew up in Buenos Aires, where she graduated with a BA in Theology from the ISEDET ecumenical theological institution in Buenos Aires, oriented toward liberation theology. She studied with liberation theologians including Jose Miguez Bonino and Jose Severino Croatto.

She was a member of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Argentina. She followed the methods of Paulo Freire, undertaking community and social projects supported by the church in impoverished neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.

Due to her experience and accomplishments in this regard, Althaus-Reid was invited to Scotland, where she worked in poor neighborhoods of Dundee and Perth, coordinating projects inspired by the liberationist pedagogy of Freire. She completed her doctorate in 1994 at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, writing her doctoral thesis on the influence of Paul Ricoeur in the methodology of liberation theology. Subsequently, she was appointed Professor of Contextual Theology at New College, University of Edinburgh. Her academic interests included liberation theology, feminist theology and queer theology. She was associate editor of the journal Studies in World Christianity and a member of the editorial board of the journal Concilium.

Althaus-Reid died on February 20, 2009, in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she had lived since 1986. At the time of her death she was Director of the International Association for Queer Theology, Director of the Queer Theology Project at the University of Edinburgh, and a member of the Metropolitan Community Church. In the last years of her life, she worked with the Argentine theologian Ivan Petrella to publicize liberation theology in the English-speaking world.


Her published works include:

  • Indecent Theology. Theological Perversions in Sex, Gender and Politics
  • The Queer God
  • From Feminist Theology to Indecent Theology
  • The Sexual Theologian: A Primer in Radical Sex and Queer Theology (co-edited with Prof L. Isherwood)
  • From Liberation Theology to Indecent Theology – the Trouble with Normality in Theology from Petrella, Ivan (editor) Latin American Liberation Theology – The Next Generation Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2005

A volume celebrating Althaus-Reid's contribution to theology was published in 2010:

  • Dancing Theology in Fetish Boots: Essays in Celebration of Marcella Althaus-Reid (ed. Lisa Isherwood and Mark D. Jordan) London: SCM Press, 2010


  1. Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF) . Her birth date was given as 11 May 1952 in an obituary in Herald Scotland 11 March 2009
  2. obituary in Herald Scotland 11 March 2009
  3. Isedet - Instituto Superior Evangelico de Estudios Teologicos

External links