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Gina Hens-Piazza
Professor of Old Testament Studies and Joseph S. Alemany Endowed Chair for Santa Clara University

Professor Hens-Piazza received her MA at Vanderbilt University and MPhil and PhD at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.  The Deuteronomic History and the Biblical  Prophets have been the focus of her teaching and research, enlisting the lens of cultural, literary and feminist criticism.   She has served on the editorial boards for Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Biblical Theological Bulletin, Hekima Journal, Wisdom Commentary Series, and the forthcoming Oxford Commentary Series in Old Testament.  In addition to teaching and directing  students in the various graduate programs at the Jesuit School of Theology, Hens-Piazza is a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty in the GTU's Department of Sacred Texts and Their Interpretation. Her courses include Elijah/ Elisha Traditions,  Advanced Hebrew Readings, Children of Sarah, Hagar and Mary, and courses on the Biblical Prophets and Psalms.  

Hens-Piazza is an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Association, where she has served on the Executive Board as well as president of the association for two terms.  Her most recent writings includes  The New Jerome Biblical Commentary for the Twenty-First Century, Old Testament Editor and Contributor with John Collins, and New Testament Editors Donald Senior and Barbara Reid (Bloomsbury Press, 2022), and The Supporting Cast of the Bible - Reading on Behalf of the Multitude. (Lexington-Fortress Press 2020). Over the years her writing and research has been recognized nationally and internationally.  Early in her career, she received the Catholic Press Award for her work on violence in the Bible.  In 2005, her colleagues nominated her to deliver the GTU Distinguished Faculty Lecturer and two years later her teaching was recognized and awarded by the Sarlo Foundation.  In 2015 she was selected by Palestinian American Research  Foundation in Washington, D.C. to participate in a faculty seminar in five Palestinian Universities.  Member of Alpha Sigma Nu, Hens-Piazza most recently received the SCU Presidential Award in 2020 for her scholarship and contribution to the University and in 2023 she was a nominee for the SCU Prolonged Scholarship Award.   


  • Intermediate Hebrew I
  • Bible Study for the Parish
  • Methods: Pentateuch & Histories
  • History of Old Testament Interpretation: Samson Narrative
  • Women: Biblical Portraits and Issues in Ministry
  • Prophets: Foundation Ministry Global Context
  • The Book of Judges 
  • Literary Criticism and the Old Testament
  • Children of Sarah, Hagar, and Mary
  • Old Testament Prophets
  • Elijah/Elisha Traditions
  • Area Foundations Seminar
  • Adv, Hebrew Readings
  • The Book of Ruth - Cultural and Literary Interpretation
  • Claiming the Psalms for the 21st Century
  • The New Jerome Biblical Commentary for the Twenty-First Century, Old Testament Editor and Contributor with John Collins, and New Testament Editors Donald Senior and Barbara Reid (Bloomsbury Press, 2022). 
  • Supporting Cast of the Bible- Reading on Behalf of the Multitude (Lexington Academic/Fortress Press, 2020). 
  •  Lamentations – Wisdom Commentary (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, Summer 2018). 
  • Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries   - 1 & 2 Kings (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2011).  
  • Nameless, Blameless and Without Shame - The Tale of Two Cannibal Mothers before a King (II Kings 6. 24-33) Interface Series, (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2006).   
  • New Historicism and Biblical Interpretation- The Guides to Biblical Scholarship Series, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002). 
  • Of Methods, Monarchs, and Meanings - An Approach to Socio-Rhetorical Exegesis (Macom, GA: Mercer University Press, 1996).
(510) 549-5048
Office hours by appointment
Curriculum vitae