Professor of Theology
B.A. University of Puget Sound
D.Min. School of Theology at Claremont
D.D. Northwest Theological Union
Phone: (510) 549-4724
View Dr. Parker's Speaking and Events Schedule.
Parker is an ordained United Methodist minister in
dual fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Before assuming leadership of Starr King School in 1990,
she spent 10 years as a parish minister in the Pacific
Northwest and taught at the Northwest Theological Union
As Starr King’s Professor of Theology, Parker
lectures widely on behalf of Unitarian Universalists.
At Starr King, she teaches the foundational course in
thea/ology in culture and context, and convenes advanced
seminars in topics such as violence and redemption,
process theology, liberal theologies, and religion and
Her doctoral studies focused on Alfred North Whitehead’s
theory of consciousness as a basis for a spirituality
that integrates aesthetics and social engagement. Her
theological work, sermons and poetry have been published
in academic journals, essay collections and anthologies,
and frequently appear in the UU World, the Unitarian
Universalist Association's monthly magazine.
In May of 2010, Parker and co-author John Beuhrens published “A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-First Century” (Beacon
Press) about which Publisher's Weekly said "“This accessible, engaging book may inspire religious progressives to claim their proud history and vital role in contemporary theological conversation. ”
In 2008, she and co-author Rita Nakashima Brock published “Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of this World for Crucifixion and Empire” (Beacon
Press) which offers a fascinating new lens on the history of Christianity, from its first centuries to the present day, asking how its early vision of beauty evolved into a vision of torture, and what changes in society and theology marked that evolution.
In 2001, Dr. Parker, with co-author Rita Nakashima Brock published
“Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering,
and the Search for What Saves Us,” (Beacon
Press), a feminist critique of the Christian doctrine
of the atonement, using memoir as a mode of theological
reflection. Her current research interests include the
gospel of John, the interpretation of the death of Jesus
in early Christian art and ritual, and theologies of
non-violent resistance to oppression, injustice and
war. Her book of collected essays, "Blessing the World: What Can Save Us Now," edited by the Rev. Rob Hardies, SKSM grad and senior minister of All Souls Unitarian, Church in Washington, D.C., was released by Skinner House Books in spring 2006.
As a religious activist, Parker has engaged with Central
American issues, women’s issues and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender
concerns. She serves on the board of an interfaith think
tank focused on progressive religion and politics called
for the Common Good." Parker is also an accomplished
Publications by Rebecca Parker
Sermons by Rebecca Parker
Speeches by Rebecca Parker
Listen to Proverbs of Ashes, Dr. Parker's reading with Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock of excerpts from their 2001 book, "Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us," published by Beacon Press; and Soul Music Dr. Parker's sermon from her essay collection, "Blessing the World: What Can Save Us Now," published by Skinner House Books.
Watch and listen to Dr. Parker's lecture at Lancaster Theological Seminary, titled "Saving Paradise", in May 2009.
Rebecca Parker’s work.
Full-time Core Faculty:
Dr. Ibrahim Abdurrahman Farajajé
Rev. Dr. Gabriella Lettini
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker
Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie
Part-time Core Faculty:
Dr. Ghazala Anwar
Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blake
Rev. Michelle Favreault
Rev. Kurt Kuhwald
Dr. Jo Sanzgiri
Research Scholars & Research Faculty
Hilda Mason Teaching Fellows