University of Bern honors Brooten

Photo/University of Bern

Bernadette J. Brooten, front row, second from left, with her fellow honorary degree recipients

The University of Bern has awarded an honorary doctorate in theology to Bernadette J. Brooten, the Robert and Myra Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies.

The Swiss university recognized Brooten for her groundbreaking research on Jewish and Christian women in antiquity, on the history of sexuality, and on slavery, noting that her work has spurred new discussions within the academy and in society more broadly. Her research on the Apostle Junia was singled out as a milestone in biblical studies and a classic in theological women's studies.

Brooten is the director of the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, which was established, in part, to provide religious communities and society at large with the knowledge and framework needed to recognize and acknowledge past collaboration in slavery, to engage in restorative justice for slavery, and to create sexual ethics untainted by slave-holding values.

Brooten, who is also a professor of classical studies, of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and of religious studies, currently is a fellow-in-residence at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is working to understand why Christian leaders supported slavery for most of Christian history and how that support relates to their regulations on marriage, family and celibacy.

The University of Bern was formally founded in 1834, but the roots of the university dates back to the 16th century when it was founded as a collegiate school in response to the Reformation.

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences, Research

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