Womanpriest: Tradition and Transgression in the Contemporary Roman Catholic Church

Womanpriest: Tradition and Transgression in the Contemporary Roman Catholic Church

by Jill Peterfeso

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This book is openly available in digital formats thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

While some Catholics and even non-Catholics today are asking if priests are necessary, especially given the ongoing sex-abuse scandal, The Roman Catholic Womanpriests (RCWP) looks to reframe and reform Roman Catholic priesthood, starting with ordained women. Womanpriest is the first academic study of the RCWP movement. As an ethnography, Womanpriest analyzes the womenpriests’ actions and lived theologies in order to explore ongoing tensions in Roman Catholicism around gender and sexuality, priestly authority, and religious change.

In order to understand how womenpriests navigate tradition and transgression, this study situates RCWP within post–Vatican II Catholicism, apostolic succession, sacraments, ministerial action, and questions of embodiment. Womanpriest reveals RCWP to be a discrete religious movement in a distinct religious moment, with a small group of tenacious women defying the Catholic patriarchy, taking on the priestly role, and demanding reconsideration of Roman Catholic tradition. Doing so, the women inhabit and re-create the central tensions in Catholicism today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823288298
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication date: 05/12/2020
Series: Catholic Practice in North America
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 442,571
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Jill M. Peterfeso is Associate Professor in the Religious Studies Department at Guilford College. She is a cultural historian of American religion whose published scholarship focuses on gender and sexuality, resistance to authority, and social justice, specifically in Roman Catholicism and Mormonism.

Table of Contents

2. Rome’s Mixed Messages
3. Conflict and Creativity
4. Ordination
5. Sacraments
6. Ministries on the Margins
7. Bodies in persona Christi

Appendix A. Interview Subjects and Primary Sources
Appendix B. Interview Questions for Womenpriests
Appendix C. Data and Interview Questions for RCWP Communities


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