Marcella's passing

I am sad to pass along the news of the passing of Dr. Marcella Althaus-Reid. Some of you may know that she is the reason I wanted to go to the University of Edinburgh. I wanted to work with her.

In 2005 Jonathan and I took a trip to the UK to figure out whether or not a PhD program there would be a good fit for me. In preparation for that trip I told Emerson that I wasn't sure if I really wanted to meet Marcella or if I was scared to meet Marcella. Emerson smiled and raised his eyebrow and said, "Well then you must meet her." Marcella's approach to theology, pedagogy, and gender issues had opened up a whole new world for me, but I wasn't sure if I was ready to discuss The Queer God in the flesh. When Jonathan and I arrived in Edinburgh Marcella took the better part of an afternoon to meet with us. She was gracious and open and was the most approachable, realistic person we met with on that trip. She was the one who gave me the advice that no matter where I chose to write, or what I chose to write on, that I must always make sure my theology relates in concrete ways to my community, to my specific group of people. Frankly, when I stepped away in January of '08, it was largely because her advice helped me to realize I was off track.

Although Marcella was one of my PhD supervisors, I didn't have a chance to work with her while I was in Edinburgh. She was on sabbatical my first semester and was too ill to return to campus in the spring. Below is the e-mail that went out to all Divinity school students and staff.

With sadness,

Subject: Professor Marcella Althaus-Reid

Dear colleagues and students,
With great sadness at our loss of an internationally respected scholar
and a lively and enjoyable colleague, I give notice of the death of
Professor Marcella Althaus-Reid on Friday 20th February, at the Marie
Curie Hospice (Edinburgh).
The memorial service will be held at St. George's West Church
(Shandwick Place), on Saturday 07 March, at noon.
There will be much more to say about Marcella's accomplishments, her
contributions to Divinity, and her relationships with so many of us.
But for now, I acknowledge in this preliminary manner all these things.
Larry Hurtado

L. W. Hurtado, FRSE, Head of the School of Divinity
Professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology
New College
University of Edinburgh
Mound Place
Edinburgh, UK. EH1 2LX
Office Phone: (0)131 650 8920. FAX: (0)131 650 7952

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

1 comment:

  1. i just heard this news yesterday, so sad. i am currently reading Queer God for my liberation theology class. its wonderful.