Dr. Virginia Burrus Named 2017 GTU Alumna of the Year

The Graduate Theological Union is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Virginia Burrus (MA, 1984; PhD, 1991) as the GTU’s 2017 Alumna of the Year. Dr. Burrus is the Bishop W. Earl Ledden Professor of Religion and the Director of Graduate Studies at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

Burrus earned both her MA and PhD in the History of Christianity at the GTU. She taught at Drew University from 1991 through 2013, before joining the faculty at Syracuse University four years ago. Her teaching interests include the literary and cultural history of Christianity in late antiquity, with special attention to gender, sexuality, and the body; martyrdom and asceticism; ancient novels and hagiography; constructions of orthodoxy and heresy; and the histories of theology and historical theologies. She was appointed Director of Graduate Studies at Syracuse in 2016.

Dr. Burrus is a former president of the North American Patristics Society. In addition to her GTU degrees, she earned a BA in Classical Civilization from Yale University (1981) and studied theology at the Georg-August Universität, Göttingen, Germany (1981-82).

Dr. Burrus is the author or editor of nine volumes, and recently completed her latest book, Ancient Ecopoetics. Other works include Saving Shame: Martyrs, Saints, and Other Abject Subjects (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), as well as The Sex Lives of Saints: An Erotics of Ancient Hagiography (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), which has been translated in Czech, French, and Italian. She has published more than seventy articles and is a well-respected and sought-after workshop presenter and invited lecturer.

In announcing Dr. Burrus’s selection, GTU Academic Dean Uriah Y. Kim said, “Virginia Burrus is a first-rate thinker whose amazing array of writings, courses, and public lectures powerfully and provocatively communicate her passion and commitment to making ancient texts and insights relevant to contemporary issues. Her scholarship embodies who she is and what she cares about. She is indeed one of the GTU's most distinguished alums today.” 

Dr. Burrus will be honored by the GTU on Saturday, November 18, 2017, at 8:00 pm at the GTU Alumni Reception during the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature in Boston. All GTU alumni and friends are invited.

Congratulations to Dr. Virginia Burrus, the GTU’s 2017 Alumna of the Year

See previous GTU Alumni of the Year