Faculty Associate in Theology, Spirituality, and Arts
Yohana A. Junker, Ph.D., is Faculty Associate in Theology, Spirituality, and the Arts at the Pacific School of Religion, in Berkeley, California. Her ongoing research probes the salient intersections among the fields of art history, eco-criticism, decolonial studies and contemporary Indigenous aesthetics. She recently earned her doctorate in art and religion from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Her dissertation entitled
“Unsettling the Landscape: Appropriation, Representation, and Indigenous Aesthetics in the Land Art of the American Southwest” investigated how the Land Art movement of the American Southwest displays a colonial reminiscence and theological vibrancy while the Indigenous artistic production of North America encapsulates a decolonial poetics of resistance.
A life-long Methodist, Dr. Junker was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, and received her BA from Universidade Metodista de São Paulo. She holds an MTS from Christian Theological Seminary and, while at the GTU, she was awarded a presidential scholarship, a Louisville Institute Fellowship, and a Hispanic Theological Initiative Dissertation Scholarship. Junker has contributed chapters for the forthcoming volumes Sustainable Societies: Interreligious & Interdisciplinary Responses
(Springer), Painted Portrayals: The Art of Characterizing Biblical Figures (SBL Press), and is co-editing, with Dr. Aaron Rosen, Modern and Contemporary Artists on Religion: A Global Sourcebook (Bloomsbury). In her writing, art, and activism, she investigates the ways artists create poetic spaces that allow viewers to come together, to reclaim agency, and to work collectively toward what Paulo Freire calls conscientização, which restores our sense of purpose, our thirst for justice, and our desire for transformation. Her artwork is central to her scholarship and activism, as demonstrated by her participation in two recent events, the “18th Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium: Political Theology at the Edge—Collectivities of Crisis and Possibility” and “On The Consequences of Hate Speech at the Manny Cantor Center in New York City.” Dr. Junker currently serves on the boards of La Comunidad, Art, Religion, and Culture (ARC), the Center for the Arts and Religion, and Feminist Studies in Religion (FSR, Inc.) and is an active member of the American Academy of Religion, ARC, and Christians in the Visual Arts.