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Honors Program

Maria Pilar Aquino, S.T.D.

Professor, Theology and Religious Studies

Maria Pilar Aquino, S.T.D., joined the USD Theology and Religious Studies faculty in 1993. Her primary areas of teaching and research are liberation theologies, social ethics, and feminist theologies, with special interests in intercultural approaches, conflict transformation, and religious peacebuilding studies. Currently, she serves both on national and international editorial boards of prominent theological journals.  Aquino has served as the first woman president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States, of which she is also a co-founder. She is internationally renowned for her pioneering work in Latin American and U.S. Latina feminist theologies of liberation.

Education

S.T.D., Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain

S.T.L., Instituto Teológico de Estudios Superiores (ITES, Theological Institute of Superior Studies) of México City, accredited by the Pontifical Catholic University do Río Grande do Sul, Brazil

S.T.B., Instituto Teológico de Estudios Superiores (ITES, Theological Institute of Superior Studies) of México City, accredited by the Pontifical Catholic University do Río Grande do Sul, Brazil

Scholarly and Creative Work

Aquino’s research and scholarly works are infused by concerns about the function of religions and theologies in societal systems and human relationships, and about their implications for social justice and constructive change. In addition to her more than fifty major book and journal articles, she has authored Our Cry for Life. Feminist Theology from Latin America (1993); La Teología, La Iglesia y La Mujer en América Latina (1994); Teología Feminista Latinoamericana (1998); has edited Aportes para una Teología desde la Mujer (1988); and co-edited of Theology: Expanding the Borders, with Roberto S. Goizueta  (1998); Entre la Indignación y la Esperanza. Teología Feminista Latinoamericana, with Ana María Tepedino (1998); In the Power of Wisdom. Feminist Spiritualities of Struggle, with Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (2000); The Return of the Just War, with Dietmar Mieth (2001); The Rights of Women, with Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (2002);  A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology. Religion and Justice, with Daisy Machado and Jeanette Rodríguez (2002); Reconciliation in a World of Conflicts, with Luis Carlos Susin (2003); and Feminist Intercultural Theology: Latina Explorations for a Just World, with Maria José Rosado-Nunes (2007). She has received various awards from prominent theological societies for her sustained commitment to women’s theological education, and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate in theology from the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Teaching Interests

Aquino teaches upper division courses on liberation theologies, social ethics, feminist theologies, and justice and reconciliation. At both USD and other universities, she has taught a variety of graduate courses, including ecumenical traditions of social justice, Latina feminist theologies, truth and reconciliation commissions, religion and conflict transformation, and social conflict and religious peacebuilding. Aquino has the distinction of being appointed, in 2006, as Eusebio Francisco Kino, S.J. Professor of Faith and Culture by the Universidad Iberoamericana of Mexico City; in 2008-2009 as Steber Professor of Theology and Religious Studies by the University of San Diego; and in 2008-2009 as Visiting Professor of Theology by The Divinity School of Harvard University.