The Problem of Female Spirituality

Public discourse has long considered the Catholic Church as a vehicle for the subjugation of women. For this reason, feminist spirituality is widely thought to be necessarily subversive of traditional Christian teachings, perhaps even inherently unorthodox. This seminar will call into question both of these assumptions by exploring a space for feminist theology and spirituality within the Church. We will read excerpts from the writings of Edith Stein and John Paul II, both of whom are considered as among the foremost feminist Catholic theologians of the 20th century. This class will be taught by Kathleen Powers and Alexandra McCleary. For more information or to receive the readings, please contact

Dates: Tuesday evenings on 6.6, 6.13, 6.20

Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Reading Schedule:

6.6: John Paul II,  “Letter to Women” and excerpts of Mulieris Dignitatem.
6.13: Edith Stein, “The Ethos of Women’s Professions”
6.20: Edith Stein, “The Separate Vocations of Man and Woman According to Nature and Grace”

Kathleen Powers
Doctoral student in Rhetoric at UC Berkeley

Alexandra McCleary
Doctoral student in Anthropology at UC Berkeley