BCLA Announces the next T. Marie Chilton Chair of Catholic Theology at Loyola Marymount University: Prof. Nancy Pineda-Madrid

Since its founding in 1999, the T. Marie Chilton Chair was held by Thomas Rausch, S.J., who retired from the full-time Loyola Marymount University faculty in 2017. After a year as the visiting Chilton Chair, Nancy Pineda-Madrid, associate professor of theological studies, now joins the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts faculty permanently as the T. Marie Chilton Chair of Catholic Theology at LMU.

Prof. Pineda-Madrid comes to LMU from Boston College, where she taught for 14 years and was associate professor of theology and Latinx/a ministry.  Returning to LMU after many years is a homecoming for Prof. Pineda-Madrid because she received her B.B.A. from LMU. Nancy then earned a Master of Divinity degree from Seattle University and a Ph.D. in Systematic and Philosophical Theology from the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, California). With expertise in soteriology and North American Pragmatism and Religious Thought, Prof. Pineda-Madrid is a leading voice in U.S. LatinX theologies, as well as U.S. and global feminist theologies.

In her new role, Prof. Pineda-Madrid seeks to advance a Catholic theological response to the sharply escalating violence against women in the Americas and around the world. “Our time demands a Catholic theology that unequivocally supports the full humanity of women and denounces all forms of misogyny,” says Prof. Pineda-Madrid. “Theology that fails to call this violence and misogyny into question falls far short of the best of Catholic theology.” As the T. Marie Chilton Chair of Catholic Theology at LMU, Prof. Pineda-Madrid will teach classes, create public programming, and build community to advance the conversation about violence against women (and others) as one critical contemporary iteration of central theological problems such as evil and salvation. This work involves reflecting intentionally on the theological issues presented by the construct and context of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, of which Los Angeles and Southern California are an important dimension.

Prof. Pineda-Madrid is the first theologian to publish a book on the evil of femicide. In “Suffering and Salvation in Ciudad Juárez” (Fortress Press, 2011), she argues that this tragedy demands a fresh consideration of what salvation means.  She has co-edited two other books: “Hope: Promise, Possibility and Fulfillment” (Paulist Press, 2013), and “The Holy Spirit: Setting the World on Fire” (Paulist Press, 2017), in addition to numerous articles addressing questions of soteriology, suffering, religious symbols, popular Catholicism, and Latina feminist theology.  She is a frequent public voice, and has given lectures at universities across the United States as well as in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, India, Vienna, and Germany.  A leading voice in her discipline, Prof. Pineda-Madrid is former President of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS), and former Vice President of the International Network of Societies of Catholic Theology (INSeCT). The Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) awarded her their 2018 Ann O’Hara Graff Memorial Award for her leading work in women and constructive theology. In addition to her distinguished academic career, Prof. Pineda-Madrid has held staff and volunteer positions for a variety of religious and other organizations in and around Seattle, WA, and El Paso, TX. Prof. Pineda-Madrid now lives in Los Angeles with her husband Larry Gordon.

Meanwhile, Father Rausch still teaches part-time in the Theological Studies Department, and is an active scholar and LMU presence. He recently published pieces in “Faith, Hope, Love, and Justice: The Theological Virtues Today” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), and “Take & Read: Christian Writers on Life’s Most Influential Books” (Apocryphile Press, 2017), as well as served as co-editor with Prof. Roberto Dell’Oro of “Pope Francis on the Joy of Love: Theological and Pastoral Reflections on Amoris Laetitia” (Paulist Press, 2018).