Dr Catherine Playoust
BA(Hons) (Syd) BTh (SCD) STL (Weston) ThD (Harvard)
 
Deputy Master 
Senior Lecturer
Department of Biblical Studies
 
Dr Catherine Playoust is the Deputy Master of Catholic Theological College. She is a member of the Deptarment of Biblical Studies, working in New Testament and related areas. She is also a member of the University of Divinity's Academic Board, as the person elected by the Biblical Studies faculty across the University.
 
The Undergraduate units she teaches include:
The Postgraduate units she teaches include:

She has supervised postgraduate research students on topics in Matthew, Luke, Paul and Revelation.

Catherine was previously a lecturer at Jesuit Theological College and thereby taught within the United Faculty of Theology, which was a recognised teaching institution of the University of Divinity. Prior to this, she was a part-time lecturer at Boston College and a Teaching Fellow at Harvard Divinity School. In addition to biblical studies, she has also been employed in the fields of mathematics (especially computational algebra) and music.
 
Catherine comes from Sydney, where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in music by the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Theology by the Sydney College of Divinity (Catholic Institute of Sydney). She spent some years in Boston, Massachusetts, receiving a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Weston Jesuit School of Theology and a Doctor of Theology degree in New Testament and Christian Origins from Harvard Divinity School. Her doctoral dissertation, "Lifted Up From the Earth: The Ascension of Jesus and the Heavenly Ascents of Early Christians", examined the Gospel of John, the Ascension of Isaiah and the Apocryphon of James to see how early Christians' hopes and beliefs about their own heavenly ascents were frequently bound up with their understandings of Jesus' ascension. While in the Boston area, she gained teaching experience and was an editorial assistant for the Harvard Theological Review.
 
Catherine's research interests include early Jewish and Christian apocalypticism and the transformation of Jewish and Christian traditions in early Christian literature. Her publications include: 
  • "A Time to Scatter, a Time to Gather", Pacifica 23 (2010):1-14. 
  • "The Leaping Child: Imagining the Unborn in Early Christian Literature" (with Ellen Bradshaw Aitken), in Imagining the Fetus: The Unborn in Myth, Religion, and culture, ed. Vanessa R, Sasson & Jane Marie Law (AAR Cultural Criticism Series; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 157-183.
  • "The Beauty of Jesus and His Twin: Redirected Erotics in the Acts of Thomas", in  The Levant: Crossroads of Late Antiquity: History, Religion and Archaeology, ed. Ellen Bradshaw Aitken and John M. Fossey; McGill University Monographs in Classical Archaeology and History 22 (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 35-63.
  • "'I thank My God About You Always' (1 Cor 1:4): Pauline Insights Toward Pastoral Theologies of Location for the Churches of Oceania Today", in Bridging the Divide Between Faith, Theology and Life: The Church in Oceania, ed. Anthony Maher, Explorations in Practical Theology, A Forum for Theology in the World 2.2 (Adelaide: ATF Theology, 2015), 49-72.
  • "The Location of the Cloud of Witnesses (Heb 12:1): Complexities of Time and Space in Hebrews", Australian Biblical Review 64 (2016): 1–13.      

Among the groups to which she has given presentations are the Society of Biblical Literature, the Association of Practical Theology in Oceania, the Professional Learning days hosted by the Catholic Education Office in Melbourne, the Brisbane Anglican Clergy Summer School, the Catholic students at the University of Melbourne, the Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes in NSW, and several local schools and parishes.

Catherine is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Fellowship for Biblical Studies (FBS), and the Australian Catholic Biblical Association. She served as President of the FBS in 2015 and served on its Executive for several years. She has been appointed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference as a member of AustARC, the Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Church in Australia.
 
As a Roman Catholic layperson, Catherine serves the Church in a variety of ways beyond her academic work. Liturgical ministries (music, reading, homiletic reflections, Eucharistic, and planning) have featured in her life for many years.