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Department ofReligious Studies

Pearl Maria Barros

Pearl Maria Barros

Assistant Professor

Pearl Maria Barros received a B.A. in English and Religious Studies from Santa Clara University, her M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and her Th.D. in Religion, Gender, and Culture from Harvard Divinity School. She is a Catholic feminist theologian whose work engages Latine cultural studies and decolonial theories. In particular, her research focuses on the relationships between sexuality, suffering, and spirituality in Latine women’s writings, especially in Anzaldúan thought. Dr. Barros is published in the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Theological Studies, and Concilium: International Journal for Theology. She is the First Place Winner of the JFSR’s Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza New Scholar Award for 2020. Her work has also appeared in Sojourners magazine and From the Pews in the Back: Young Women and Catholicism (Liturgical Press). She served as an editorial assistant for Theological Studies from 2016-2019. Dr. Barros enjoys teaching a variety of courses at SCU and mentoring students, especially first-generation college students.




TESP 4: The Christian Tradition
TESP 59/WGST 44/ETHN 25: Sexuality and Spirituality in Latinx Literature and Theologies
TESP 79/WGST 48: Women in Christian Tradition
TESP 131/WGST 149: Feminist Theologies
TESP 131R/WGST 149: RSS: Feminist Theologies (Seminar)
TESP 199: Feminisms, Mothering, and Mary (Independent Study)


PMIN 201: Theological Foundations for Ministry ONLINE
PMIN 288: Practical Theology HYBRID Course
ST80210: Sexuality and Spirituality in Latinx and Chicanx Literature and Theologies (JST)
HSRS 8200: Women in the Christian Tradition (JST)



Academic Publications

“Racism and Trauma: Borderlands, Ambivalent Healing, and Hope.” Concilium: International Journal for Theology. “Racism: Women’s intercultural perspectives.” Eds. Sharon A. Bong, Bernardeth Caero Bustillos, and Susan Abraham. Vol. 1. (March 2023): 97-105. Translated into Spanish, German, and Italian.

“Turning toward a Theology of Transformation: Notes from the Borderlands.” Theological Studies. Vol. 83, no. 4. (December 2022): 579-598.

“‘Liberating Conscience’ and Latinx Students at Catholic Universities: Moral Consciousness, Power, and Nos/otrx,” in Conscience and Catholic Education: Theology, Administration, and Teaching. Eds. David DeCosse and Kevin Baxter. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, March 2022). 167-182.

“Misogyny in the New Testament.”  Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception.  Berlin: De Gruyter.  Vol. 19.  (July 2021): 395-396.

“Rethinking Women’s Suffering and Holiness: Gloria Anzaldúa’s ‘Holy Relics.’” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion.  Vol. 36, no. 2.  (2020): 7-24. 

Public Scholarship 

“The Power of Humility.” Sojourners.  November 2019.

“Days of Feast and Famine.”  Living the Word.  Sojourners.  November 2018.  

“Finding God in Dark Alleys.”  Living the Word.  Sojourners.  September 2018.

“The Sheepy Smell of God.”  Living the Word.  Sojourners.  July 2018.

“Of Memory and Vision: My Grandmother’s Legacy,” in From the Pews in the Back: Young Women and Catholicism.  Eds. Kate Duggan and Jen Owens. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2009.  133-139.   

“The Promise of Dead Leaves.”  Santa Clara Review 92.1 (2004): 72-73.


In the News

October 24, 2019

Pearl Maria Barros published an article in Sojourners magazine, “The Power of Humility” (alternately titled: “How I Learned the Difference Between Humility and Humiliation” in the online version of the article), in which she rethinks the Christian virtue of humility through a Catholic feminist Latinx lens.