As you may remember from the introductory post to this blog, I write about my life of "existing in many spaces at once, holding multiple identities and not quite serving as a model example of any of them." In the minds of some, perhaps many, it's impossible for two of my identities, Christian and feminist, to coexist. If religion – and more specifically, a patriarchal religion like Christianity – oppresses women, how can a feminist also be a Christian?
Although the Nuns on the Bus, films such as "Radical Grace" and books like Jesus Feminist have or are gaining some notoriety, in academia, the binary is so acute that little research exists on just how women manage to occupy both identities. For her master's thesis, Jessica B. Whitish, a recent graduate of the University of Louisville with a master's degree in women's and gender studies, conducted historical research on a woman who could be considered a model for how faith informs one's feminism: Sr. Lucy Freibert.
Born in Louisville, Ky., in 1922 and now living at her order's motherhouse, Freibert joined Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in 1945 and spent much of her adult life as a women's studies scholar and feminist activist.