Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., has named Theology and Religious Studies Professor Jeanette Rodriguez as the Reverend Louis Gaffney, S.J., Chair in the College of Arts and Sciences. The two-year appointment begins July 2016.
The Gaffney Chair, made possible by the Jesuit community at Seattle University, promotes issues related to the Jesuit commitment to faith that does justice and supports the Jesuit ideal of teaching. Professor Rodriguez will address the topic “Women’s Leadership and Partnership in Jesuit Higher Education.”
As Gaffney Chair, Rodriguez will examine women’s contributions to Jesuit education, identify barriers, and design constructive strategies to enhance and build on their participation with the goal of making a substantial and enduring contribution to greater inclusion of women in the university’s Jesuit mission.
Rodriguez, who received her PhD from Graduate Theological Union, focuses her research, scholarship, and teaching on U.S. Hispanic theology;theologies of liberation, religion and culture; indigenous theology; spirituality, justice and peace education; and genocide studies. She is the founding director of the university’s Center for the Study of Justice in Society that promotes interdisciplinary and collaborative scholarship on justice issues.
An internationally recognized scholar on Latin American theology and religion, gender, and cultural diversity, she has held a number of key leadership positions, including president of the Academy of Hispanic Catholic Theologians, national council member for the Catholic peace movement Pax Christi and executive committee member of the European Network of Genocide Scholars.
Rodriguez is currently working on a new book “Lifting Songs to Pierce the Sky: Haudenosaunee Women and the Sisterhood of Clanships,” due out later this year. A video and article about her work with the Haudenosaunee (Iroquis) is at this link.
In recognition of her teaching and scholarship Rodriguez was the 2013 recipient of the university’s McGoldrick Fellowship, the most prestigious award conferred by the university upon a member of the faculty.