Sr. Barbara Reid, OP receives an honorary degree from the University of Graz


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Sr. Barbara Reid, OP receives an honorary degree from the University of Graz

CHICAGO – December 13, 2019.    On December 10, Sister Barbara Reid, OP, Professor of New Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union, was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Graz in Austria earlier this week.  Sr. Barbara was honored particularly for her work in Feminist biblical studies, especially the creation of the acclaimed

The investiture was accompanied by a Reader’s Theatre on Gender and a Symposium at which Sr. Barbara presented the principal paper entitled, “A World Birthed Anew and the Role of Feminist Biblical Interpretation.”   The event marked the 25th anniversary of the Women’s and Gender research focus at the Catholic-Theological Faculty at the University of Graz, under the leadership of Dr. Irmtraud Fischer, Professor of Old Testament Studies

At the investiture ceremony, the Rector of the University, Dr. Martin Polaschek remarked that, “By awarding the honorary doctorate in theology, the University of Graz honors the pioneering work of Prof. Barbara Reid for the gender-sensitive interpretation of the Old and New Testaments.” Professor Christoph Heil, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Catholic Theology, noted: “With the rationale of the Wisdom Commentary series, Prof. Reid has set a milestone in feminist biblical interpretation.”  Professor Irmtraud Fischer, speaking on behalf of the Faculty´s research-focus on women and gender, added: “Throughout history, women have read and interpreted Bible texts. However, interpretations of men have prevailed.  We not only want to make the women and the female perspective in the Bible visible again, but also to re-pose gender issues and to explore the old texts in this regard.”

The Wisdom Commentary series is published by the Liturgical Press ( Dr. Fischer is the author of the forthcoming volume on Genesis.  Nineteen of 58 projected volumes are already available.  Of the first 20 volumes published, 7 have won awards from the Catholic Press Association and the Association of Catholic Publishers. 

Sr. Barbara Reid is a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has been a member of the faculty of Catholic Theological Union since 1988 where she also served as Vice President and Academic Dean.  Prof. Reid has been actively involved in the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada, including her current service on their Board of Directors. She is past President of the Catholic Biblical Association (2014-2015). She was inducted into Aquinas College Hall of Fame in 2016 and has received the Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence from Barry University (2017), the St. Martin DePorres Award from the Southern Province of Dominican Friars (2016), the Jerome Award from the Catholic Library Association of America (2012), the Theological Award for Distinguished Women Theologians from the College of Mount St. Joseph (2010), and the Sophia Award from Washington Theological Union (2000).

Sr. Barbara Reid, OP; Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, president, Catholic Theological Union and Dr. Martin Polaschek, Rector, University of Graz.  Credit: University of Graz/Pichler