Susan Thistlethwaite

I am a Professor of Theology and President Emerita of Chicago Theological Seminary.

The Reverend Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, Ph.D. Professor of Theology and President Emerita Chicago Theological Seminary Susan Brooks Thistethwaite is Professor of Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary. From June of 1998 until June of 2008, she served as the 11th President of CTS. Prior to the Presidency, she had been a Professor of Theology for 20 years and director of the Ph.D. Center for five years. Before coming to CTS, she had previously taught Women’s Studies at Connecticut College, Religion at Mt. Holyoke, and Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary and Boston University. She has a Ph.D., from Duke University, a Masters of Divinity (Summa Cum Laude) from Duke Divinity School and a B.A. from Smith College. An ordained minister of the United Church of Christ since 1974, she is the author or editor of thirteen books, including two different translations of the Bible. Dr. Thistlethwaite’s most recent published work (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2015) is called Women’s Bodies as Battlefield: Christian Theologies and the Global War on Women. She is the editor and a contributing author of Interfaith JustPeacemaking: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on the New Paradigm of Peace and War (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), a multi-author volume with thirty contributors and advisors, ten from each of the Abrahamic faiths. This book is gaining a wide audience through adoption as a classroom text in the teaching not only of interfaith studies, but also peace studies. In 2010 she also published Dreaming of Eden: American Religion and Politics in a Wired World with Palgrave Macmillan. She has also recently published #OccupytheBible: What Jesus Really Said (and Did) About Money and Power with Wipf and Stock Publishers. Some others of her previously published works are: A Just Peace Church (1986), Lift Every Voice: Constructing Christian Theology from the Underside, with Mary Potter Engel (1998, first edition, 1990), and Casting Stones: Prostitution and Liberation in Asia and the United States (1996) with Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock. In 1999, Orbis Press published the tenth anniversary edition of Lift Every Voice. This is one of the most widely used textbooks in the U.S. to teach theology. Among her many articles and book chapters, one example is the influential chapter on “Non-violent Direct Action” in Just Peacemaking: Ten Practices for Abolishing War, edited by Glen Harold Stassen. After the events of 2001, the book was rewritten, and a revised edition was released by Westminister John Knox Press. This was republished as Just Peacemaking: A New Paradigm for the Ethics of Peace and War in 2008. She is currently at work on a new book with Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas tenatively titled, Policing the Body: A Theological Anthropology of Sex and Race Under Oppression. Thistlethwaite has become widely known as columnist and commentator on religion in the public square. For six years she was a weekly contributor to the Washington Post “On Faith” page where she published hundreds of columns. Today she writes for several online news outlets. Some of her columns can be found on her Huffington Post author page: Thistlethwaite is also a frequent media commentator on religion and public events. She has had two appearances on ABC News NIGHTLINE, February 28, 2003 and March 4, 2003, opposing the Iraq War, and has written more than a dozen newspaper editorials that have appeared in The Chicago Tribune; the Chicago Sun-Times, and Dallas Morning News . She is also interviewed and quoted on various radio and television shows in the United States and in the Middle East. For example, she appeared on ABC Nightly News in March, 2012, on the “War on Women.” Of her many newspaper columns, the Chicago Tribune piece, “Can a Nation Lose Its Soul? Coming to Terms with the Conscience of the United States and the Torture of Iraqi Prisoners” (May 4, 2004) has been the most widely reproduced. In 2008, Thistlethwaite became a Senior Fellow of the Center for American Progress. She was a trustee of the Center for American Progress from 2010 until 2015. She is one of the founders of Faith in Public Life, and served on their board from 2005 to 2010. Thistlethwaite is a trustee of Renewal in the Wilderness since 2016, and of the Interfaith Youth Core, founded by Eboo Patel, since 2007. She is also on the Advisory Committee of the American Academy of Religion Section on Religion and Politics, a section she helped found. She is also currently a consultant to the Carter Center “Scholars in Action” and the Carter Center’s Women, Religion, Violence and Power program.