May 14, 2009
Vol. 28 No. 16

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    Tanner to lead century-old theological society as its third female president

    By Josh Schonwald
    News Office

    Photo by Jason Smith

    Kathryn Tanner

    The Divinity School’s Kathryn Tanner has been elected President of the American Theological Society.

    Chosen by her peers last month, Tanner, the Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor of Theology in the Divinity School, is only the third woman elected president of the organization, which meets annually at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey to discuss current theological issues.

    Founded almost 100 years ago, the ATS encompasses 100 leading scholars from across the denominational spectrum. Former presidents include Paul Tillich, Reinhold Niebuhr, Cardinal Avery Dulles and Geoffrey Wainwright, the founding editor of Christianity Today.

    “It is a wonderful recognition of her scholarship, teaching and collegiality, which we at Chicago, like the members of ATS, treasure and hold in great esteem,” said Richard Rosengarten, Dean of the Divinity School.

    As President of the ATS, Tanner will preside over the 2009-10 sessions and give a presidential address to the 100-member group.

    A Chicago faculty member since 1994, Tanner gears her work, which involves constructive Christian theology in the Protestant tradition, to both academic and mainstream audiences. Her work often explores contemporary challenges to belief.

    Tanner is the author of many books, including God and Creation in Christian Theology: Tyranny or Empowerment? and The Politics of God: Christian Theologies and Social Justice. She is considered a pioneer in combining theology with such interdisciplinary methods as critical, social and feminist theory, urban studies and postmodern geography. Her 1997 book, Theories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology, explores the relevance of cultural studies for rethinking theological method, and her book, Economy of Grace, explores the intersections between theology and economics.

    Tanner earned all of her degrees—a B.A., M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D.—from Yale University. In 2007, she presented the Warfield Lectures at Princeton Seminary.