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Boston College Theologian’s Book Wins First Place Award From Catholic Press Association

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (July 20, 2010) – Prophetic Witness: Catholic Women's Strategies for Reform, a book edited by Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Adj. Associate Professor Colleen Griffith, received a first place book award from the Catholic Press Association at their recent dinner.

Prophetic Witness placed first in the category of Gender Issues. Prophetic Witness, part of Boston College’s award-winning Church in the 21st Century (C21) book series, is a collection of essays from 23 of the country's leading female Catholic theologians on a wide range of topics facing the Catholic Church in the 21st century.

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The topics covered by the female theologians go far beyond the expected, such as women's ordination, to issues facing the faithful, especially women faithful, in all corners of society, such as outreach to the poor, the rights of children, sexuality, pastoral care to families with unwed, pregnant teens, simple and ecological living, and multicultural inclusiveness.

Of the book, the CPA wrote, “This collection of deeply thoughtful essays from leading Catholic women theologians deserves to be read by small groups in every Catholic parish. The topics are broad, the suggestions for change are practical, the spirit of the writing is inspirational. This book says what many American Catholics, men and women, want from and for the Catholic Church of the twenty-first century.”

Griffith not only served as the book’s editor but also contributed a chapter. Other Boston College faculty members who contributed essays to the book are: School of Theology and Ministry’s Associate Professor Francine Cardman, Assistant Professor Nancy Pineda-Madrid and Associate Professor Jane Regan, and the Department of Theology’s Associate Professor M. Shawn Copeland.

"The C21 book series is an investment in the life of the Church in the 21st century,” said C21 Acting Director John McGinty. “The series springs from the realization that the issues we are dealing with today have lasting import for the future: accountability to good ethics in the Church, priesthood, religious education, the voices of women. It's also our conviction in an era of blogs and here today-gone tomorrow commentary, that there is still real value in sitting down with a book. We are proud to have Prophetic Witness as part of our series.”

One of the most remarkable aspects of Prophetic Witness, Griffith remarked at the book’s launch, is the realization that only 50 years ago a book by some two dozen female theologians would not have been possible. "Fifty years ago it was still most unusual for a woman to choose theology as a career," she said. But today, "without question, some of the most exciting and creative theological work being done on the world stage is by Catholic women."

--Kathleen Sullivan, Boston College Office of News & Public Affairs, kathleen.sullivan@bc.edu