Theologian honored for work on sexuality

This story appears in the CTSA 2015 feature series. View the full series.

by Heidi Schlumpf

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Patricia Beattie Jung, a scholar in theological ethics, was honored for her pioneering work on sexuality and heterosexism with the 2015 Ann O’Hara Graff Memorial Award at the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) conference in Milwaukee.

Jung is currently a visiting professor of theology at Saint Paul School of Theology, a United Methodist seminary in Overland Park, Kansas. She is the author of “Heterosexism: An Ethical Challenge” (SUNY Press, 1993) and co-editor with Mary Hunt of “Good Sex: Feminist Perspectives from the World’s Religions” (Rutgers University Press, 2000).

The award is given each year by CTSA’s Women’s Consultation to a member whose accomplishments include womanist, feminist or other “woman-defined” scholarship as well as liberating action on behalf of women in the church or broader community.

The award is named for O’Hara Graff, a founding member of the Women’s Consultation group and longtime professor of theology at Loyola University Chicago. She died in 1996 at the age of 45.

In presenting the award on Thursday afternoon, Susan Ross, professor of theology at Loyola and a former president of the CTSA, said Jung and O’Hara Graff shared many traits in common.

“Like Ann, Patty is devoted to her students, to her family, to her children and to her church,” she said. “Like Ann, Patty has a passionate concern for justice in the academy, in the church and in the world.”

Jung was also praised for her ecumenical, interreligious and collaborative approach by Cristina Traina, chair of the Religious Studies Department at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

“I only regret that [Jung’s] experience of deep, honest, intellectual curiosity and [her] passion for forming ministers has not been welcome in Catholic seminaries and at times has not been allowed in particular dioceses,” Traina said. “That is a deep loss.”

The 70th annual convention of the CTSA is being held in Milwaukee June 11-14. The theme of the conference is “Sensus Fidelium.”


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