2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

The Oxymoron of the Feminist Catholic
Emily J. Wildhaber
Dr. Paul Shapiro and Dr. Amber Johnson, Faculty Mentors

The Catholic Church and feminism are complex ideologies, often seen as being at odds. Through qualitative, face-to-face interviews with nine Catholic college women, this study attempted to discover how young Catholic women today view feminism as it applies to their faith. Those interviewed often distinguished between "their" definition of feminism and a separate feminism that is more "radical" or "secular." These women demonstrated an awareness that many outside of the Church see a disconnect between what the Church teaches and feminism; however, most described Catholicism as supporting feminism fully and were eager to explain how Catholic teachings were in fact feminist, despite not fitting society's definition. This study argues that these women are returning from a 60s-era conception of feminism to the idea of feminism at its core. Far from being an oxymoron, a feminist Catholic is an entirely credible subset of the diverse ideology that is feminism.

Keywords: Catholicism, Feminism, Qualitative

Topic(s):Anthropology
Women's and Gender Studies
Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: -3
Location: MG 1096
Time: 10:00

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