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Teresia Mbari Hinga - d. 3/31/23

03/31/2023 11:28 AM | Anonymous

The CTSA remembers and prays for Teresia Mbari Hinga.

Photo of Teresia Mbari Hinga

Eternal rest grant unto Teresia, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace. Amen. 

Dr. Teresia Mbari Hinga Funeral Mass Service
Provided by Teresia Hinga's family to the CTSA through Theresa A. Yugar

Dr. Teresia Mbari Hinga’s funeral mass services are scheduled for Wednesday April 5th, 2023, 11:30am at St. Celestine Church, 3020 North 76th Court, Elmwood Park, Illinois. Officiated by Father Paul Kalenzi and Father Stan Chu Ilo.

The Kenyan funeral service is scheduled for Tuesday April 4th, 2023, in Ndumberi Kiambu.

Teresia Mbari Hinga was born January 25, 1955, as the youngest of seven children to her late parents Agnes Wairimu and Ernest Hinga in the village of Ndumberi, Kiambu in British-occupied Kenya. She was sister to her late siblings: Zita Nyambura, Norbert Kamau, Regina Wang’eri, Alphonse Mungai and Stephen Chege. She was a loving mother, grandmother, and godmother who protected her children and helped them flourish with her grand sense of humor, love of song, and faith in God. As a single mother who balanced her professional life with her home life, she is survived by her two beautiful children: son Anthony Hinga, daughter Pauline Wairimu Kenly, her son in-law Thom Kenly and her two grandchildren, Zoe and Nia Kenly, all in Chicago. In Kenya she is survived by her brother Michael Machua, her many nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, friends, and colleagues.

Dr. Teresia Mbari Hinga earned a B.Ed. in English Literature and Religious Studies which she passed with first class honors from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Nairobi University. She earned a Ph.D. in Religious Studies/African Christianity from the University of Lancaster in England in 1990. She was an African Christian feminist who pioneered the fields of African feminist theology and ethics. Dr. Hinga was an Associate Professor of Religion at Santa Clara University, California (2005-2023). Before that, she had joined DePaul University, Chicago in 1994-2005 having previously taught at Kenyatta University in Nairobi Kenya (1987-1994).

Service for her began at home supporting family members with their financial needs for education and medical purposes.Beyond that, she was a devoted friend to her home village of Ndumberi - Kiambu, finding seed money for local farmers, planting and growing trees, facilitating training for rainwater harvesting and organic farming methods.

She was a dedicated professor of religion and a welcoming friend who mentored hundreds of students and young scholars and promoted the scholarship of fellow professors, making them feel welcomed, known and heard. Dr. Hinga was a founding member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians in Accra, Ghana in 1989. She promoted the Circle throughout her career. She was also a founding member and on the executive committee of the African Association of the Study of Religion (AASR), a member of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), she was on the board of the Journal of Global Catholicism and a member of the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church (CTEWC) Network until her death.

She bowed to a protracted battle with cancer on the March 31st, 2023, at Chicago Illinois, surrounded by her family and friends after receiving all the Catholic rites by Fr. Paul Kalenzi and Fr. Stan Chu Ilo.

We would like to invite you contribute towards Dr. Teresia Mbari Hinga’s funeral expenses. Through the following methods:

Zelle: or CashApp: Pauline Kenly $profTeresia2023

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.   

Above reference provided through the 
The Department of Religious Studies', Santa Clara University, website (Accessed 3/31/23 <>

CTSA Contributions include:

"Women Healing Earth: Revisiting Rosemary Radford Ruether's Work on Moral Agency & Ecological Ethics among Women of the Global South", Proceedings of the CTSA, 72.

"A Response to Gerald M. Boodoo's 'Space of Possibility' Toward Another Possible Nonviolent World: Recognizing the Gift and Insights of 'Glo-cal' Theologies", Proceedings of the CTSA 74, 62-70.

"Bioethics & Healthcare Ethics: Prophetic Healthcare Ethics: A Panel Discussion on Catholic Women Theologians on the HIV/AIDS Pandemic", Proceedings of the CTSA 65.

"Catholic Theologies, Intrafaith Dialogue, and Pluarlism", Proceedings of the CTSA, 61.


  • 03/31/2023 12:45 PM | Paul J. Schutz
    It saddens me so much to say "rest in peace" to another beloved SCU colleague. Teresia had a warmth and presence like nobody else. She always greeted colleagues "Sawubona," or "I see you"—acknowledging with authentic love and attention the dignity of each person. She knew how to love others.

    Many of us know of her engagement with the CTSA and CTEWC, but Teresia was equally involved in our local community: planting trees, building relationships with local religious communities of all types, cultivating a love of creation (human and other than human!) with a passion she drew in large part from the life and work of Wangari Maathai (we had many conversations about Wangari that opened up new avenues of thinking for me).

    I can't overstate how sad I am to lose such a dear colleague and friend—and I know many of my SCU colleagues share this sadness. May Teresia rest in peace, basking in the gaze of God who says "Sawubona" to us all.

    Sawubona, Teresia, and thank you.
    Link  •  Reply
    • 04/03/2023 10:42 PM | Theresa A. Yugar
      Paul, thank you So very much for reminding me about her "Sawubona" greeting. It is a phrase I want to remember for her as well.
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  • 03/31/2023 1:10 PM | Karen Peterson-lyer
    I am so deeply, deeply sad for the loss of this amazing woman. Teresia has been a wonderful colleague and friend, a mentor to so many of us, a source of joy and challenge, and deeply reflective of the power and presence of God. She was also the spark for so many initiatives to further justice, peace, and authentic love in the world.

    It's difficult to find words at this point for what a loss this is to our department and world; even knowing it was likely coming, it hits like a truck. Indeed, Teresia: Sawubona. We will miss you, dear friend. Rest in peace and power and know that we will carry on your work and witness as best we can.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 03/31/2023 1:50 PM | SimonMary A. Aihiokhai
    We have been praying for a miracle for her for sometime now. I guess God's miracle was to receive her in the heavenly home. I am saddened by her passing. Teresita was like a big sister to me. For many years, she was a great mentor and a dear friend. Her joyful presence was unique. Her nimble and wise mind produced a classic that is relevant to the African imagination of how to do theology that is authentically African and feminist to its core. She leaves behind a great legacy that will resonate for generations to come.
    We continue to pray for comfort and love as her children and relatives grieve her passing. May she experience the beatific vision. Rest in peace, Teresita.
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  • 03/31/2023 3:58 PM | Maria-Pilar Aquino
    I am truly sad about Teresia’s passing. An international scholar committed to advance thought in feminist Christianity and ethics, she has been an insightful voice within the CTSA, the CCAWT, the Kenyan theological community and others. I admired her commitment to social transformation, gender equality, and sustainability. A generous soul all around. I will miss her. Rest in peace, dear Teresia.
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  • 03/31/2023 5:39 PM | David E DeCosse
    In dear Teresia, we have lost a great friend and colleague with never-ending warmth and one of the world's best laughs. Over many years, Teresia was an Associated Scholar of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. She generously helped out with speaking at public events on campus and with speaking with us at the Ethics Center about African theology and ethics. She also was awarded research grants from the Ethics Center on such topics as "Globalization, the Global Village, and the Moral Imperative of Bridge Making" and "Women, Religion and Transitional Justice: A Comparative Ethnographic Study of Rwanda and South Africa." I was deeply moved by her quiet prophetic power, often delivered in a wry, insightful spirit. I always loved running into her on campus where we'd share a great laugh about she would get me (again!) to carry a suitcase of books for her back from an international conference. Finally, I am most moved by the gift to me of her great faith: always so kind and marked by the joy of the Gospel even if things were perhaps not so easy. Many thanks, dear friend...
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  • 03/31/2023 5:44 PM | Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu, PhD
    Oh dear Teresia, we will miss you, so glad we got to know each other during our project on Global Theologies. Prayers for those you leave behind whose hearts are broken, and hope of Easter to fill them. Paz hermana.
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  • 03/31/2023 5:48 PM | Emily Reimer-Barry
    What a loss to our CTSA community. Teresia's leadership at the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians and her contributions to the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church Forum were significant contributions to global conversations elevating the experiences of African women. I treasure memories of a breakfast conversation we shared at the CTSA in 2019, and share in the sorrow my colleagues have expressed. May Teresia rest in God's eternal embrace of love.
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    • 04/01/2023 1:54 PM | Dorris van Gaal
      Thank you for your comment.
      Likewise, Dr. Hinga's work and leadership at Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians has influenced my development in understanding African theology and in particular the perspective of and concerns for women in Africa. I feel blessed in having had the opportunity to meet Dr. Hinga in person at the AAR in 2019. We kept running into each other visiting similar session (or me attending her presentation at one). From one to the other session, we struck up an interesting conversation on rites of passage for African immigrant youth in relationship to celebrating for instance the sacrament of Confirmation. Great food for thought. Thank you Dr. Hinga for all you have given to all those you have touched. May you bask in the Eternal Light of Love.
      Link  •  Reply
  • 04/02/2023 2:40 AM | Theresa A. Yugar
    My heart is saddened at Teresia's passing. She has been a pivotal mentor to me the last couple years. It was a gift to be able to collaborate with her on our "Valuing Lives, Healing Earth" book, to celebrate Rosemary Radford Ruether's planetary activism. The plan is to have a second volume and we will dedicate it to her work for global ecological healing.
    Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
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  • 05/17/2023 9:27 PM | Margaret Mary Moore
    You can download a lovely picture of Teresia along with her biographical date at She will be remembered and honored at our Women's Consultation.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 05/22/2023 12:05 AM | Cristina Lledo Gomez
    Dear friends and colleagues of Teresia,

    We were hoping to hear from the wisdom of Teresia herself this coming June at the Women's Consultation for Constructive Theology within the Catholic Theological Society of America Conference but yes sadly she passed away. So instead, the two presenters, Theresa Yugar and Rachel Bundang will honor her within their presentations on women's contribution to the Church and the academy since Rosemary Radford Ruether's publication of "The Church Against Itself" in 1967. If you are attending the CTSA, please feel free to attend the WCCT session and hear her being honoured as well as to connect with others who knew and loved Teresia.

    our condolences,
    Cristina Lledo Gomez and Margaret Mary Moore
    Co-Chairs of the Women's Consultation for Constructive Theology
    Catholic Theological Society of America
    Link  •  Reply

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