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Pure Complexity: Mary Daly’s Catholic Legacy

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15603/2176-1078/er.v27n1p87-97



Mary E. Hunt1


Abstract: Mary Daly was among the most influential feminist theologians and philosophers of the twentieth century. This analysis of her complex relationship to the Catholic tradition shows the many ways in which she both drew inspiration from and was oppressed by Catholics and Catholic institutions. Nonetheless, she left an indelible mark on the catholic (small ‘c’) tradition, encouraging others to see the violence as well as the wisdom that shapes it.

Key words: Mary Daly, Catholic Church, feminist, complexity


Resumo: Mary Daly foi uma das mais influentes teólogas e filósofas feministas do século 20. A presente análise de sua complexa relação com a tradição católica nos mostra o quanto católicos e instituições católicas lhe serviram de inspiração e também como forma de opressão. No entanto, ela deixou uma marca indelével na tradição católica (com ‘c’ minúsculo), encorajando outros a ver tanto a violência quanto a sabedoria que moldam essa tradição.

Palavras-chave: Mary Daly, Igreja Católica, feminista, complexidade 


1 Ph.D., is a feminist theologian who is co-founder and co-director of the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. A Catholic active in the women-church movement, she lectures and writes on theology and ethics with particular attention to liberation issues. She is the editor of A Guide for Women in Religion: Making Your Way from A to Z (Palgrave, 2004) and co-editor with Diann L. Neu of New Feminist Christianity: Many Voices, Many Views (SkyLight Paths, 2010)