In Memory of Her: Kari Elisabeth Børresen


WATER mourns the passing of Dr. Kari Elisabeth Børresen, a pioneer in feminist studies in religion.

During her long career, Dr. Børresen was Research Professor, Royal Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Senior Professor (emerita), Faculty of Theology, Oslo University in Norway.

Her signal publications include her early study Subordination and Equivalence: The Nature and Role of Woman in Augustine and Thomas Aquinas (1968, 1981) and the edited collection The Image of God: Gender Models in Judaeo-Christian Tradition (1991/1995), among many others.

As a Roman Catholic, Kari was subject to the common discrimination against even the brightest women scholars. She was the first woman visiting professor at the Jesuit Gregorian University in Rome. She received honorary doctorates from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and the University of Iceland.

Kari Elisabeth Børresen was a unique and productive scholar whose work in several languages and on several continents continues to bear fruit. Contemporary scholar/activists are in her debt for laying bare some of the foundational patriarchal problems in religion.