Defiantly Serving in Persona Christi: Roman Catholic Womenpriests within 21st Century Catholicism

Date / Time

November 11, 2021

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm


More about the Lecture

Since 2002, the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement has “validly but illegally” ordained more than 250 women to Roman Catholic priesthood. Women in the movement are called to ordination, perform sacraments, and act ministerially, all while doing what Rome says women can never do: serve as a priest in persona Christi – in the person of Christ. Drawing upon over a decade of ethnographic research, Dr. Peterfeso’s presentation will focus on the way RCWP’s women talk about bodies and embodiment to argue both the legitimacy and necessity of their priesthood. In a politically fraught 21st century environment in which Roman Catholic patriarchs are accused of “controlling women’s bodies,” RCWP’s rhetoric around bodies imagines a different kind of embodied autonomy and female empowerment.

More about the Speaker

Jill Peterfeso is the Eli Franklin Craven and Minnie Phipps Craven Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Guilford College. She is a cultural historian of American religion who uses ethnography to explore questions of gender, authority, and creativity, in Roman Catholicism and Mormonism. Her book on the RCWP movement is titled Womanpriest: Tradition and Transgression in the Contemporary Roman Catholic Church.

This event will take place both in person and online. Registration is required. Please see for details.

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