From Fires to Lit Matches: The Status of Dissent and Women’s Ordination In Today’s Church

Guest Post! Guest Post!

Christina Gebel is a freelance writer and photographer. She has an undergraduate degree in theology from Saint Louis University and a Master of Public Health degree from Boston University. She currently lives in Boston, MA working in public health research. You can follower her on Twitter @ChristinaGebel.

Nearly a year ago, in a New York Times op-ed, Cadence Woodland decried the excommunication of Kate Kelly, a feminist Mormon, who spoke openly about her support for women in the Mormon priesthood. Kelly, a lawyer, was excommunicated on the charge of apostasy. Just recently, the New York Times furthered its fascination with women’s ordination again, publishing an Opinion by Frank Bruni about the questionable equality of women in the Church, including women’s ordination to the priesthood.

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Transgender, Sexual, and Celibate: Danica’s Story

Guest post! Guest post!

Danica is a journalist, a mobile yoga studio owner and a metal rocker (and she and Elizabeth have known each other since they were ten years old!). She is also a transgender woman who distanced herself from the Catholic Church—the faith of her upbringing—in order to live out her identity in a healthy and positive way. At WIT’s request, she graciously agreed to write the following reflection as a window into her life story, especially her relationship with sexuality and with celibacy at different points in her transition.

This reflection also serves as a companion piece to a recent Washington Post article which describes the choices of many LGBT Christians to live a celibate lifestyle as a way of reconciling their sexualities with their Christian identity.

WIT is thrilled to have Danica tell her story.

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A New Era for WIT!

Finally, dear readers, the time has come: the women of WIT are pleased to announce the addition of five new members, whom we are excited to introduce below.

We’d like to say first that when we put out a call for new bloggers back in February, we actually weren’t sure that we would get any applications, so it felt like a risk. But we were pleasantly surprised to receive upwards of twenty-five applications from smart, interesting women dedicated to the task of doing Christian theology well and with women’s voices at the forefront.

We wish that we could take everybody right now, but we do hope that WIT will expand over the years, and we would love to have those women reapply at those expansion points. In any case, we ourselves have now seen proof of the need for women in theology to have spaces online to dialogue critically and creatively, with and for each other.

So without further ado, we’d like to announce that we are adding the following women: Continue reading

God is Constantly Coming Out to Us

As the United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments today challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents legally-married same-sex couples from having their marriages recognized by the federal government, we offer the following religious reflection on coming out, written by a friend of the blog:

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Are you a Woman in Theology?


Would you like to join us?


We are looking to expand our five person blogging team.  In order to qualify, you must be a woman with experience in the academic study of theology, either as a graduate student or as a professor and committed to the liberation of human persons, particularly women, from all forms of oppression.

Your responsibilities as a member of our team would include writing 10 blog posts a year and working on other administrative tasks related to the maintenance of the blog exceeding no more than 8 hours of work per month (though likely a lot less than this).

Women of color and non-Catholic Christian women are especially encouraged to apply.

If you are interested, please email us by March 1, 2013 at with your answers to the following questions.  No more than one paragraph per question is necessary.

  1. Why do you want to be a part of “Women in Theology”?
  2. What would you like to write about if you joined our team?
  3. How do you see yourself fitting into the current mission of WIT?  How do you see yourself contributing something unique to WIT that either we don’t already do or you think you could do even better?

What Does Dialogue Take?

(from a friend of the blog who wishes to remain anonymous)

When I was in college, I took a class with a scholar who was—and remains—very influential in inter-religious dialogue circles. He had chaired several of his polity’s national committees on inter-religious relations, and his own scholarship often led him into discussions of particularly vicious periods of historical religious oppression. As a result, I was rather surprised when he called on me one day and asked, “When should we choose disputation instead of dialogue?”  Continue reading

Catherine Hilkert, Catherine of Siena, and Awesome Preaching

In honor of Saint Catherine of Siena (whose feast day usually falls on April 29), and in recognition of the fact that we are still in the midst of the Easter season, we here at WIT have received permission to showcase some amazing Easter preaching, inspired partly by Catherine of Siena, from our beloved Notre Dame professor Catherine Hilkert, from a few years back. Catherine is a Dominican sister, an original self-proclaimed “WIT,” (along with Beth Johnson when they were back in graduate school at CUA), and somebody who has taught most of us WITS about theological anthropology and feminist theologies at some point or another over the past few years. We are deeply grateful that Catherine has agreed to share this preaching with us; it provides a wonderful opportunity for meditation and slow, contemplative reading. Don’t skim it; let it sink in slowly if you can.

As a side note: the following year after this, Catherine delivered the Madeleva lecture, which became the book entitled *Speaking with Authority: Catherine of Siena and the Voices of Women Today* (Paulist 2001, revised with new introduction and foreword by Suzanne Noffke, 2008). Continue reading