Johanna W. H. van Wijk-Bos, professor of Old Testament, is Dora Pierce Professor of Bible and Faculty Liaison to the Women’s Center at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where she has taught for more than three decades. The chair she occupies was named in honor of the Seminary’s first woman graduate, the Rev. Dora Emma Pierce (BD 1961). Born in the Netherlands as Johanna Willemina Hendrike van Wijk, Johanna earned two degrees in theology at the University of Leiden. A pioneering woman in theological teaching, she is the first woman to receive academic tenure at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
The senior member of the Faculty, her courses range from Introduction to Scripture, Hebrew language and exegesis, to Feminist/Womanist/Mujerista Liberation Theology, the linked nature of gender and race bias in religion and society from a biblical perspective, to interpretation of the Bible through the visual and performing arts. She has taught in multi-racial and multi-cultural settings in Montpellier, France, with students from across the French-speaking world, and in Salvador, Brazil, with black and native Brazilian women. Ordained to the professional ministry at the Downtown United Presbyterian Church of Rochester, New York, in 1977, she has served the church through teaching, writing and speaking for the rights of those who are denied full citizenship in religion and society. She regularly participates in interfaith conferences and discussion groups, most recently at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, NC, and the Theological Center of the University of Lund, Sweden.
van Wijk-Bos writes regularly for both scholarly and popular publications. Some of her books include Making Wise the Simple –The Torah in Christian Faith and Practice (Eerdmans, 2005), Reformed and Feminist—A Challenge to the Church(Westminster John Knox, 1991), Reimagining God—The Case for Scriptural Diversity (Westminster John Knox, 1995), and Called Out With: Stories of Solidarity in Support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Persons(Westminster John Knox, 1997).
Johanna is the proud parent of J. Martin Bos and his wife Kimberly Tatman Bos, and grandmother to their children, Emma Claire, Dylan McKenna and Maxwell Martinus. Her husband A. David Bos, who was a retired Presbyterian minister, author, poet and activist, died February 12, 2011.