Kimberly Vrudny


Kimberly Vrudny is a professor of systematic theology at the University of St. Thomas, where she has been on faculty since 2001. She earned her doctorate in historical theology from Luther Seminary with a dissertation that addressed the question of authorship of a medieval manuscript used by Catholic priests during the period of the plague. This work on religious response to stigmatized illness led her to work in modern-day religious response to HIV/AIDS. She was on sabbatical in South Africa, Thailand, and Mexico during academic year 2009-2010, documenting in photograph thirty years into the pandemic thirty people impacted by HIV/AIDS as well as organizations devoted to their care, a project that has resulted in photography exhibitions at a dozen galleries throughout the United States and in South Africa. Her current work examines the role of German Lutheran theology in the rationalization of Nuremberg laws under Hitler as well as Dutch Calvinist theology in the creation of apartheid law in South Africa, as well as the role of Bonhoeffer and Black liberation theology in dismantling these systems of government. She is the author or co-author of five books, including her most recent: Beauty’s Vineyard: A Theological Aesthetic of Anguish and Anticipation (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2016), and is senior editor of ARTS: The Arts in Religious and Theological Studies. She is most intrigued by the places where artistic resistance to political oppression intersects with religious advocacy for social justice and peacemaking.