Remembering Professor Teresia Mbari Hinga

Professor Teresia Mbari Hinga

We are saddened to announce the transition of our dear friend and colleague of many decades, Professor Teresia Mbari Hinga. A Kenyan by birth, she studied religion and English literature at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, and then went on to earn an MA in religious studies at the University of Nairobi. Teresia also earned a Ph.D. in religious studies from Lancaster University, UK, focusing on African Christianity and the place of women and gender matters in African Christianity. Her postdoctoral research explored the question of “Women, Power and Liberation in the African Independent Church.”

Teresia was privileged to serve as a lecturer and associate fellow at the Women’s Studies in Religion Program (WSRP) at Harvard Divinity School from 1991 to 1992, during which she taught Professor Dianne Stewart who recently said that she considers Teresia to be one of her best teachers in graduate school. Teresia was a founding member of the “Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians,” a Pan-African association of women established by Professor Mercy Oduyoye. The Circle, in which Teresia played a major role, is concerned with the study of the role and impact of religion and culture on the lives and affairs of women in Africa. As a Catholic Theologian, she was also an active member of the Black Catholic Symposium of the American Academy of Religion. She has published numerous articles in academic journals and given many public lectures in the academy. For example, she gave the inaugural Kathleen Wicker endowed lecture at Scripps College in February 2006. Teresia was the first regional coordinator of the African Association for the Study of Religions (AASR) in the 1990s when I served as the first president of the Association.

Prior to joining Santa Clara University faculty in 2005, where she taught courses on women and religion, feminist theologies, African Religion and sociality, religion and contemporary moral issues, she worked at DePaul University in Chicago. Among her awards, she published African, Christian, and Feminist: The Enduring Search of What Matters (2017), a semi-biographical collection of essays examining Teresia’s journey from Kenya to Silicon Valley. She also published Women, Religion and HIV AIDS in Africa: Responding to Ethical and Theological Challenges (2008). Her research interests also include environmental/ ecological ethics, gender and sexual ethics, globalization, Biblical ethics, and African feminist theology.

Teresia will be remembered as a conscientious, hardworking, and affectionate scholar who gave her best to the academy, her students, and humanity. She was generous with her time and resources, a strong and indeed compassionate public intellectual. She will be sorely missed by friends and colleagues, but most especially by her two children Pauline and Anthony, her grandchildren, the Church, and the Kenyan and African community.

Respectfully submitted, Jacob K. Olupona, Harvard University

AASR 2022 Virtual Conference Schedule

Theme: “Religion in Times of Crisis”
Date: July 26 and 27, 2022

Though anxious to get back to in-person meetings (Yay, Kenya 2023!), we are absolutely thrilled to be gathering online this summer to hear extraordinary papers, keynotes, and celebrate our Association turning 30 years old! While the topics covered are heavily influenced by COVID-19, we have a wide variety of addresses that will explore the environment in crisis, constitutional crises, trauma in literature and film, gender, etc. We warmly invite you to join us for the joyous event.

To register please click here.

Please note that there is no registration fee. However, your registration will not be approved unless you have paid this year’s AASR Membership fees. To pay membership fees, please visit and choose Join Us.

If you have any questions, concerns, or need assistance along the way, please email the General Secretary, Nathanael Homewood, at or

Below is the conference schedule and panel information.


AASR Virtual Meet-Up

Dear colleagues

I am writing today to remind you that we will host a virtual meeting on February 16, 2022, at 4 pm GMT. This is mostly a virtual meet-up. We have spent years now unable to have an in-person conference and have so dearly missed seeing and chatting with colleagues and hope that this provides at least one avenue for connection. While I will share a few updates and news items, such items will also be shared via email. The link can be found here.

If you have any difficulties, questions, or concerns, please reach out to Nathanael Homewood at, and we hope to see you on February 16!

Nathanael Homewood
AASR General Secretary

Member publication: Black Minds Matter – Archbishop Milingo and the Vatican by Gerrie ter Haar

AASR member Prof Gerrie ter Haar has recently published a book on Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo titled Black Minds Matter – Archbishop Milingo and the Vatican.

Black Minds Matter tells the story of one of the most outspoken clerics of Africa, Emmanuel Milingo, who was Archbishop of Lusaka from 1969 to 1983. Milingo became widely known for his healing ministry, which was rooted in African spiritual ideas. This brought him into years of conflict with the dominant powers in the Catholic Church, and eventually led to his excommunication in 2006…” (from, where you can find further information).

We congratulate Prof Gerrie ter Haar for this new book.

Update: Leiden University has made Black Minds Matter freely available online at the moment, visit

Research Opportunity for AASR Member Graduate Students

The history of the AASR is an important one and something that we must continually keep up-to-date as one marker of the study of religions in Africa. However, and you will notice this if you visit our website, we need to write the history of the last decade (2010-2020). It was a critical decade for the Association with many conferences held, ideas shared, and continued growth in the study of religions in Africa.

Accordingly, we are interested in partnering with an AASR Member Graduate Student to write this history. The task is to interview some of the essential voices (we will connect you with them), read through various documents from the decade, and then write a comprehensive history of the years 2010-2020 for our records (with a condensed version published on our website). You are more than welcome to use this research as part of your studies, and we will provide a USD 750 Honorarium and a complimentary 2022 Membership Fee.

Only Graduate Students who are members of the AASR are eligible to apply. To apply for this opportunity, please email the following to

  • An up-to-date C.V.
  • The name and contact information for one reference
  • A 350-word response outlining why you wish to take on this task and what qualifies you to do so.

The deadline for applications is November 15, 2021.

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