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February 19 at 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM EST


Chesterton House – 111 The Knoll

Chesterton Perspectives brings you:

Feminism and the Family

A Conversation with Abigail Favale Professor of the Practice, Women’s Studies, at University of Notre Dame

February 19th, 2024
7:30 pm EST in person at 111 The Knoll Rd
7:45 pm EST via Zoom

Register Here

What if the key to achieving female equality lies in embracing what makes women different from men instead of competing to be the same? Notre Dame Professor Abigail Favale was among the strongest feminist scholars in America, when a religious transformation moved her to reassess the viewpoints she found herself defending. This reassessment led her to the conclusion that feminist theory has lost its way by trying to constantly conform to shifting trends in popular culture. The dominant culture today imposes the idea that women’s bodies are merely abstract objects of performance, not necessarily related to “family.” From a young age, girls are taught to strive to “keep up with the boys,” as this is what is needed to create an “identity” for themselves—one that asks the question “What can females do, build, compete for, and achieve?” without acknowledging or honoring the divine gift bestowed on them in creation.

Coinciding with a rapid increase in girls preferring to be boys, and the shocking rise of depression, anxiety, and self-harm among teens, our culture has deviated from the creational uniqueness of women. While holding true to feminism’s vision of female equality and dignity, Favale’s “Catholic Feminism” seeks to restore a theology of human identity grounded in family, harmony, wholeness, and divine gift.

Abigail Favale; Professor of the Practice, Women’s Studies, at University of Notre Dame

Abigail is a writer and professor whose work lies at the intersection of Catholic theology, literature, and women’s studies. Her abiding interest as a writer and scholar is the meaning and dignity of woman, and her work explores sexual difference and embodiment in the Catholic imagination. Her first book, Irigaray, Incarnation, and Contemporary Women’s Fiction (Palgrave 2013) was awarded the 2014 Feminist and Women’s Studies Association Book Award. Her second book is Into the Deep: An Unlikely Catholic Conversion (Cascade 2018), a spiritual memoir that traces her journey from birthright evangelicalism to postmodern feminism and, finally, to the Catholic Church. Abigail’s most recent book, The Genesis of Gender: A Christian Theory, was published in 2022 by Ignatius Press and has already been translated into multiple languages. Her numerous essays have appeared in MICL’s Church Life Journal, The Atlantic, First Things, Public Discourse, Comment, and elsewhere. Abigail is also a fiction writer and was awarded the J.F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction in 2017.

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Chesterton House Painting