Mary C. Boys ’75, ’78
Skinner & McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology
3041 Broadway, BT 704
New York, NY 10027
B.A., Fort Wright College of the Holy Names 1969
M.A., Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary 1975
Ed.D., Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary 1978
L.H.D., Hebrew Union College 2004
D.Th., Catholic Theological Union 2006
Litt.D. The Jewish Theological Seminary 2011
D.Litt. Gratz College 2012
Professor Boys is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Hebrew College-Jewish Institute of Religion (2004), The Catholic Theological Union (2007), The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (2011) and Gratz College (2012). She was the recipient in 2005 of the Sternberg Award from the International Council of Christians and Jews, of the Eternal Light Award from St. Leo College in 2012, the Ann O’Hara Graf Memorial Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America in 2013, and of the Nostra Aetate Award from Seton Hill University in 2015.
Professor Boys has served as visiting Lecturer of Religious Education at Princeton Theological Seminary, Claremont School of Theology, John Carroll University, Villanova University, and St. Mary’s College (London, England). She has been a Lilly Research Fellow and was a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology for 2005. She is a former member of the editorial boards of the Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations, and has also served on the editorial boards of The Journal of Religious Education (Australia), Teaching Theology and Religion, and Religious Education. With Professor Sara S. Lee, Boys served as co-director of the Lilly Endowment-sponsored “Religious Particularism and Pluralism” project that involved Jewish and Catholic educators and academics.
Professor Boys is a member of the Committee on Religion, Ethics, and the Holocaust at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University. Formerly, she served on the board of the Catholic Theological Society of America and on the advisory committee for the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Catholic Bishops.
Professor Boys is the author of six books: Biblical Interpretation in Religious Education (1980), Educating in Faith: Maps and Visions (1989); Jewish-Christian Dialogue: One Woman’s Experience (1997) Has God Only One Blessing? Judaism as a Source of Christian Self-Understanding (2000); Christians and Jews in Dialogue: Learning in the Presence of the Other (2006), co-authored with Sara S. Lee; and Redeeming our Sacred Story: The Death of Jesus and Relations between Jews and Christians. Her four edited books include Ministry and Education in Conversation ((1981), Education for Citizenship and Discipleship (1989), Seeing Judaism Anew: A Sacred Obligation of Christians (2005) and the co-edited volume Christ Jesus and the Jewish People Today (2011).
Professor Boys has also published about a hundred articles in books and journals such as Concilium, Horizons, Religious Education, Biblical Theology Bulletin, Cross Currents, SIDIC, the Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Midstream, the Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations, and the Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America.
A Seattle native, Professor Boys has been a member since 1965 of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, a congregation of Roman Catholic women.
Skillful, creative, and caring pedagogical approaches are requisite for teaching persons about justice issues; understanding and conviction alone do not suffice. This course involves developing strategies through analysis of relevant literature, collaborative projects, and the design of a course on a specific justice issue in which resistance and opposition are likely.
Learning to oppose racism necessitates countering antisemitism, the “world’s longest hatred.” Antisemitism exists at the crossroads of Christian anti-Jewish teachings, white nationalism and white supremacy, xenophobia, fundamentalisms, and conspiracy theories. Thus, this seminar involves analysis of the complex dynamics by which hostility to Jews became embedded in the West and ultimately a global phenomenon. More importantly, the course also explores efforts to confront and combat antisemitism, including building alliances across borders of difference and the efforts of the churches to re-conceptualize their teachings. Case studies constitute one of the major pedagogical modes of the course.
SPRING 2021, SPRING 2022
This seminar, designed for both Jewish and Christian participants, offers an experience in interreligious learning.
Students study the origins and development of Christianity in Second Temple Judaism, survey key historical
encounters, address significant questions in the relationship of the two traditions, and examine implications for
the education and formation of Jews and Christians in our time. The course serves as a case study in interreligious
conflict and reconciliation.
FALL 2020, FALL 2021
A seminar for those with a deep interest in, and passionate concern for, how to form and educate adults for a
religiously pluralistic world. We engage in a close reading of memoirs in four religious traditions; Judaism,
Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. This course explores faith journeys through the lens of religious biography and
autobiography in order to deepen the formation of religious leaders and to enrich the religious education of
This course invites students to put their theological/biblical thinking in conversation with educational thought and practice. It also involves thinking together about theological education as a profession.
Restricted to doctoral students.