Dr. Marion S. Grau

Associate Professor of Theology
510-204-0700

Double M.A. equiv., Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen

Ph.D., Drew University
Curriculum Vitae

Marion Grau is a native of Germany. She studied Protestant Theology and English at the University of Tuebingen and earned her Ph.D. in Theological and Religious Studies from Drew University, New Jersey. She has taught at CDSP/GTU since Fall 2001.

Mission Statement
The passion to consider questions of God, humanity and world has been with me since I was a teenager. I simply couldn't think of anything more fascinating to do. After an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker, I found that I would rather construct theologies than fancy furniture as an architect or designer. This passion for exploring the presence and shape of God in our lives, human ways of perceiving and experiencing God, finding wisdom for live and meaning in our daily actions, remains central for my work as a scholar and teacher in the classroom. I feel privileged to teach my passion – sharing the many paths people have taken in engaging divinity in their lives. I delight in offering students the opportunity to increase and expand their knowledge of ancient and contemporary Christian traditions, to increase their ability to recognize patterns of theological thinking, understand its logic and contexts, and to expose them to expansive language, metaphors, patterns and ways of naming God humbly, yet resolutely, with generous confidence. 

Courses Taught

Basic Courses

  • Introduction to Constructive Theology
  • Topics in Constructive Theology

Typical Elective Courses

  • Theological Method
  • Economy, Ecology and Theology
  • Empire and Theology
  • Mission, Theology and Empire
  • Redemption, Atonement, and Soteriology
  • Theological Hermeneutics/Interpreting Bodies
  • Theories for Thinking Theology
Selected Publications

Rethinking Mission in the Postcolony: Salvation, Society, and Subversion (New York: T&T Clark International/Continuum, 2011)  

Of Divine Economy: Refinancing Redemption (New York, T&T Clark International/Continuum, 2004)

Interpreting Postmodern: Responses to Radical Orthodoxy. Edited by Marion Grau and Rosemary Radford Ruether (New York: T&T Clark International/Continuum, 2006)

“Circumambulating Exodus-Migration-Conquest: A Theological Hermeneutics of Migratory Narrativity,” Contemporary Issues of Migration and Theology, edited by Elaine Padilla and Peter Phan, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013

“Boniface: Apostle to the Germans,” Empire and the Christian Tradition: New Readings of Classical Theologians, Kwok, Pui-Lan, Joerg Rieger and Don Compier, eds. Fortress Press, 2007

In Class
  • Divinity Students and Certificate Students: Dr. Grau annually offers two basic required courses designed for Master level students, ST 2170 and ST 2180. These courses are highly recommended for introductory level students as well as for those needing to expand and update their theological competence.
  • Master of Arts Students: Dr. Grau enjoys advising M.A. Students working in the fields of theology, interfaith studies, and mission in a postcolonial context. Her interests and strengths lie particularly in the doctrine of soteriology; theology and economic and ecological concerns; theological hermeneutics and epistemology; as well as other doctrinal topics.
  • Doctor of Ministry Students: Dr. Grau has worked with D.Min students particularly in the area of missiology.
  • Doctor of Philosophy Students: Please see Dr. Grau's GTU webpage for further details.
Speaker's Bureau Topic
  • ecology and theology/religion
  • economy and theology/religion
  • technology, movies and religion
  • progressive approaches to mission, Anglican missionary history
  • various doctrinal topics, particularly on questions of redemption and salvation
  • religion and issues of embodiment and disability
  • issues of biblical interpretation and hermeneutics, ways of reading the bible and interpreting theological texts
Some Less Obvious Things About Me
  • Does not own a car and enjoys cycling to work and tour the Bay Area, and tries to eat as locally as possible.
  • 'Gets away' from things by stepping into the permaculture garden in her backyard. There she tends to soil, vegetables and fruit crops in the all-year growing season of California.
  • Favorite recipes: Vegetables in the mustard family grow year round in the backyard, so many of her favorite recipes involve cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, and collard greens. They are great in soups, stir fry, and some for grilling.
  • Has a passion for Port, but not the cheap kind that is blended into 'communion wine', which makes her cough every time. She is welcome to entertain any and all theories about what causes what she has come to call 'the post-communion cough'...
Favorites/Book Obsessions/Currently Reading

Book Obsessions:

  •  The most impressive book recently read: Diarmaid McCullough's Christianity: The First Three Millennia. Incredibly comprehensive and broad without being sweeping and overly generalizing. A great foundation upon which to lay any education for ministry, research, and teaching.
  • Most recent mystery: Camilla Läckberg's mysteries. The female Swedish crime author now finally translated after Stieg Larsson's big success with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
  • Most recent novel of ideas: 36 Arguments for the Existence of God by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

Currently reading:

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Discipleship. Never having made it beyond the passage on costly and cheap grace, I assigned the entire book for a class in German Theologies, which will finally do the trick...

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