BA (Hons), BTh, STL, ThD
Dr Catherine Playoust is the Deputy Master of Catholic Theological College and a member of its Department of Biblical Studies.
Dr Playoust 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). In Boston she received 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. Dr Playoust was previously lectured at Jesuit Theological College and thereby taught in the United Faculty of Theology, which was a recognised teaching institution of the University of Divinity. Before this, she was a part-time lecturer at Boston College and a Teaching Fellow at Harvard Divinity School. In 2013-2017, she was a member of the University of Divinity’s Academic Board. During part of 2019 she was the Acting Dean of Studies at Corpus Christi College.
Dr Playoust teaches coursework units in Mark, Luke, John, Romans, and introductory biblical studies. In the past she has also taught units in Paul, New Testament Greek, and early Christian literature. She has supervised postgraduate research students on topics in Matthew, Luke, Paul, James, and Revelation.
Dr Playoust’s research interests include early Jewish and Christian apocalypticism and non-canonical early Christian literature. 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. Among her publications are works on John’s Gospel, gospel infancy traditions, the Acts of Thomas, the letters of Paul, and Hebrews.
Dr Playoust is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), the Fellowship for Biblical Studies (FBS), and the Australian Catholic Biblical Association. She was President of the FBS in 2015 and served on its Executive for several years. She contributes to the work of two SBL program units (co-chair, “Religious Experience in Antiquity”; steering committee member, “Christian Apocrypha”). Since 2017 she has been a Director (Council member) of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Theological Schools Ltd (ANZATS).
Among the groups to which Dr Playoust 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, the Diocese of Broken Bay, and several local schools and parishes. As a Roman Catholic layperson, she serves the Church in a variety of other ways too. Liturgical ministries (music, reading, homiletic reflections, Eucharistic, and planning) have featured in her life for many years. She was 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) in 2010-2018 and as a member of the Australian Catholic Council for Christian Unity (from 2018).