Ella Johnson

Ella Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at St Ambrose University. Ella lives in Davenport, IA, with her husband Gerry and their daughter Isa, who loves to laugh and keep them very active! Ella enjoys gardening, tending to her growing collection of houseplants, being silly with her daughter and nephews, and eating the delicious food her husband cooks. She teaches systematic theology to undergraduates and also graduate students, who are preparing for permanent diaconate ordination or lay ecclesial ministry. Ella's research focuses on recovering the theological insights of medieval women mystics. She has recently published a book, This is My Body: Eucharistic Theology and Anthropology in the Writings of Gertrude the Great of Helfta (Cisterican Publications, 2020). She also is constantly thinking about how to employ new teaching tactics and engage anti-racism and social justice concerns in the classroom and on campus.

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For the last few years, in teaching about racial justice, I have consciously decided to incorporate into my syllabi an opportunity for critical reflection based on Stephen Brookfield’s theory of “ideology critique.”[1] In short, Brookfield defines ideology critique as “part learning process, part civic action”; it “focuses on helping ...

Since last fall, the theology department at my institution, St. Ambrose University, has been offering a new course called “Just Theology.” On the first day of class each semester, I like to poll the students to ask them what they think the title “Just Theology” means. Most of the students’ ...

In teaching undergraduates about social justice, I have found that the concept of the common good is both the most foundational and difficult one for students to learn. According to Catholic social teaching, the perspective from which I teach my theology and justice courses, the concept is defined as such: ...

The call for educational practitioners to be critically self-reflective is fairly common today. This is in large part due to the work of pedagogical theorists, such as Stephen Brookfield, who have challenged educators to routinely assess and hone our teaching practices. Indeed, since the beginning of my teaching career, I ...

It has now been over a full year since the 2016 presidential election. Yet, I still remember vividly the dark and raw thoughts I had the morning of November 9, 2016. When I woke up and learned of the election results, I was horrified that so many people had made a conscious decision ...

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