1993 – Elizabeth A. Johnson

An author whose work explores feminist theological interpretation has earned the 1993 award.

Elizabeth A. Johnson, associate professor in the Department of Theology at Fordham University, won the award for her book, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse.

In the book, which was published in 1992, Johnson addresses a critical issue of spiritual life: How are we to speak rightly of God in our day? She presents effectively the value of feminist theology and feminist metaphors for describing human experiences of the mystery of God.

By expanding the ways in which people talk about God’s nature and activity, they can break free from the limitations imposed through historical explanations, she argues.

“So long as the words signify something that does characterize the living God mediated through Scripture, tradition and present faith experience…then new language can be used with confidence,” she says in the book.

Johnson has many years of experience in working with the language of religion. A former religion and science teacher in Catholic elementary and high schools, she served as an instructor at St. Joseph College in Brooklyn, N.Y., and at the Catholic University of America before coming to Fordham.

Johnson is a member of the Congregation of Saint Joseph and of the Catholic Theological Society of America. She also serves on the National U.S.Lutheran/Roman Catholic Dialogue and on the Committee on Women in Church and Society, a branch of the Advisory Board of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.