Ada María Isasi-Díaz, Alumna, passed away yesterday, Sunday, May 13 after a battle with cancer.
Ada María Isasi-Díaz was Professor Emerita of Christian Ethics and Theology at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. She founded the Hispanic Institute of Theology there in 1992.
Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, Isasi-Díaz came to the United States as a political refugee in 1960 and entered the order of St. Ursula. She held a B.A. in European History from the College of New Rochelle, and an M.A. in Medieval History from the State University of New York at Brockport. For some years she was a missionary in Lima, Peru, and a high-school teacher there and in the U.S.
Isasi-Díaz was an indefatigable proponent of feminist causes and served in the vanguard of the development of Mujerista Theology (a theology from the U.S. Latina perspective). A leading voice in the application of Mujerista theology to conversations with other liberation theologies, Isasi-Díaz lectured widely in this country and abroad. She published several books, scores of articles and essays, and contributed chapters to a number of important works.
In 2005, the Seminary awarded her a Unitas Distinguished Alumni/ae Award; the citation read:
“Professor, author, and PARTERA/midwife of MUJERISTA theology, the first Latina to earn the Ph.D. at Union; for her work with women at the grass-roots in New York and beyond – inspiring and affirming their moral agency and voices in the context of LO COTIDIANO/ everyday life; for her passionate engagement of students in the U.S., Cuba, Korea and elsewhere around the world; and for her invaluable articulation and formulation of a feminist theology and ethics of liberation from a U.S. Latina perspective ¡En La Lucha.”
Dean of Academic Affairs Daisy L. Machado commented on the passing of Ada María Isasi-Díaz:
“I first met Ada when I began my doctoral studies and she always made an effort to provide me with an opportunity to be part of a panel or presentation or book project as a way to get me involved in the work of the academy. She became a good friend and someone who supported my work in numerous ways and was especially proud that we were both Cubans. Ada’s desire to open doors for younger Latina scholars will be long remembered by me and so many other Latinas. I am grateful to have met her and have worked with her. Descansa en paz, amiga querida.”
Messages and comments may be viewed and posted on Ada’s blog: