Skip to main content

Department ofReligious Studies

Teresia Hinga

Teresia Hinga
Teresia Mbari Hinga
Associate Professor

Dr. Hinga was born in Kenya. She received a B.Ed. in English Literature and Religious Studies from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Nairobi University, also in Kenya. She earned a Ph.D. in Religious Studies/African Christianity from the University of Lancaster in England. Her thesis on the role of women in African Christianity focused on women's power and liberation in the African Independent Church. Dr. Hinga's research focuses on religion and women's issues, particularly in Africa, African religious history, and expression in the global religious landscape, religion and public policy, and the ethics of globalization. She is a founding member of the "Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians," a pan-African association of women who study the role and impact of religion and culture on African women's lives. She is also a member of the Black Catholic Symposium of the AAR and of the Association for the Academic Study of Religion in Africa (AASR).

Dr. Hinga joined the Santa Clara University faculty in 2005 and teaches courses on women and religion, feminist theologies, African religions and society, and religion and contemporary moral issues.


Research Interests

  • religion and women's issues, particularly in Africa
  • African religious history and expression in the global religious landscape
  • religion and public policy
  • ethics of globalization



"To be an (African) Woman in the Age of Globalization: The World Bank, Structural Adjustment Programs and the Feminization of Poverty in Africa," Africa History Week, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, February 2006.

"In the Footsteps Of Kimpa Vita: African Feminism and the Search for Decolonized and Liberating Religion in Africa," Kathleen Wicker Endowed Inaugural Lecture, Scripps College, February 2006.

Convener and panelist in "Religion and The Quest for Sustainable Peace: Gendered and Postcolonial Perspectives From the 'Glo-cal South,'" IAHR Congress on Religion and Peace, Tokyo, Japan, March 2005.

"Rethinking and Equipping for Christian Mission in Africa Today," keynote address at the "Rethinking Mission" Conference convened by Sisters of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX, May 2004.

Respondent to Keynote, "Another Theology is Possible," "Another World is Possible Conference," DePaul University, Chicago, IL, October 2004.

"AIDS, Religion and Women in Africa: Theo-Ethical Challenges and Imperatives," Conference on Sex, Stigma And HIV AIDS: African Women Confronting Religion and Culture, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, August 2002.

"Beyond Malthusian Ethics: Expanding the Lenses for the Ethical Analysis of Population, Development and Reproductive Health in Africa," American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 2001.

"The Intersection Between Religion, Gender and Racism in Africa," WCC/AACC Consultation on Racism, Ethnic Conflicts and Other Forms of Xenophobia, Tananarive, Madagascar, August 2001.

"Women of Faith and Vision: Reflections on the Role of Women of Faith in the Implementation of the Beijing PFA" (Platform for Action), United Nations' Church Center, New York, NY, March 2000.

Led group discussions and coordinated business meeting of the "Circle of Concerned Women Theologians," Joint Conference of African Theological Organizations, Mbagathi, Kenya, August 2000.

"Religion and Human Rights at United Nations: Women's Rights as Human Rights"; Panelist, "African Religions and Ecology," Convener and Respondent to Panel, "Becoming Global Citizens: Indigenous Religions and the Search for a Global Ethic," Parliament of World Religions, Cape Town, South Africa, December 1999.

Convened and chaired panel on "Religion and Violence against Women in Africa"; Convened and co-chaired a panel on "Religious Studies and Social Engagement in Africa,"; Panelist on "New Religious Movements in Africa"; presented paper on "African Independent Churches in the Age of Globalization" International Association for the Historical study of Religion (IAHR) Conference, Durban, South Africa, August 1999.

"Daring to Dream: Jubilee, Justice and Reconciliation in Africa," Call To Action Annual Conference, Milwaukee, WI, November 1999.

Panelist, International Feminists Reflecting on the connection between Religion and Women's Issues at the U.N., Cairo +5 Pre-Conference Meeting, U.N. Headquarters, New York, NY, March, June 1999.

"Concerned and Engaged: African Women's Theology and the Case for Socially Engaged Scholarship of Religion in Africa," American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, November 1997.

"African Indigenous Religions and the Search for a Global Ecological Ethic," Center for the Study of Religion, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, November 1997.

"Becoming Global Citizens: Pan-Africanism, African Religions and the Search for a Global Ethic in the New World Order," University of Georgia Humanities Center, Athens, GA, January 1997.



Professional Memberships


  • American Academy of Religion
  • African Association for the Study of Religion
  • Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians
  • Ecumenical Association for Third World Theologians


Appointed Member, International Connection Committee of the AAR (American Academy of Religion), October 2005 - present.

Editor, African Religions section for Religion and Theology, Compass: A Journal (Blackwell Publishing) January 2006-present.

Resource person and participant, Faculty and Staff Vincentian Trip to Kenya, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, 2004.

Member, Steering Committee of the Pan-African Circle of Concerned Women Theologians, June 1996-August 2002.Founding member of the Executive African Association of the Study of Religion (AASR), 1992-2001.

Member, UCIP Subcommittee drafting proposal on the internationalization of the curriculum, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, 1999.

Member, UCIP Subcommittee internationalizing the social justice mission of DePaul University, Chicago, IL, 1999.

Member of the Executive Committee for the World Congress of Association of Theological Institutions (WOCATI), 1992-1996.

Founding member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians, 1989-1994.

Member, Association of African Women in Research and Development (AAWORD, Kenya Chapter), 1989.



  • RSOC 9 Ways of Understanding Religion
  • RSOC 38 Religion & Culture: Africa
  • RSOC 46 African Religions
  • TESP 131 Feminist Theologies
  • RSOC 157 Religious Traditions & Contemporary Moral Issues
  • RSOC 170 Religion, Gender, & Globalization
  • TESP 184 Jesus Across Cultures
  • RSOC 191 Religions of Colonized Peoples

Selected Articles

"African Feminist Theologies, The Global Village and The Imperative of Solidarity Across Borders: the Case Of The Circle f Concerned African Women Theologians."  Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 18 (1 2003).

Chapters in Books

"African Preachers and Their Sermons."  In Norton Anthology of African American Preaching (ed. Frank Thomas and Martha Simmons; forthcoming, 2005?2006)."Aids, Religion and Women in Africa: Theo-Ethical Challenges and Imperatives."  In AIDS, Religion and Women In Africa: Theological and Ethical Challenges (ed. The Circle Of Concerned African Women Theologians; Cluster Publishers, forthcoming 2005)."The Academic Study of Religion in Kenya: Historical Roots, Contemporary Issues and Future Prospects."  In The Study of Religion in Africa: Past, Present and Future Prospects (ed. Jan Platvoet, James Cox and Jacob Olupona; Cambridge: Roots and Branches, 1996) 220-365."Between Colonization and Inculturation: Feminist Theologies in Africa."  In Feminist Theologies in Different Context (ed. Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and M. Shawn Copeland; Concilium Journal Series; Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1996). Reprinted in The Power of Naming: A Concilium Reader in Feminist Liberation Theology (ed. Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza; Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1996) 26?33."Gikuyu Theology of Land and Environmental Justice."  In Women Healing the Earth: Third World Women on Feminism, Ecology and Religion (ed. Rosemary Radford Ruether; Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1996) 172?83."Violence Against Women: A Challenge to the Church."  In Pastoral Care in African Christianity(ed. Douglas Waruta and Hannah Kinoti; Acton Publishers, 1994) 117?33."Becoming Subjects: The Transformation of Women for Social Change."  In The Church and Morality in Africa (ed. Jesse Mugambi; Initiative Publishers, 1992) 277-84.

Encyclopedia Articles

"African Notions of Afterlife."  Macmillan Encyclopedia of Religion (2005).

Kenna Hall, Room 323J