Abstract of the paper by Marilou Menezes, India/USA

In Catholicism, apart from Mary, it is difficult to find an expression of the feminine that is on the same level of importance as the Trinity. While the Godhead is transcendent in quality and is the divinity that all of the faithful should be worshipping (in terms of doctrine), upon reflection of the stylistics of pastoral discourse, the word God is commonly associated with God the Father. This association becomes problematic with respect to the inequality of the expression of gendered experiences within the divine structure. Thus in order to search for the feminine in Catholicism, the paper l proceeds to examine the Trinity by means of a moderated conversation between the perspectives of Tradition and Feminism. There is an attempt to locate feminine/maternal characteristics in God the Father and by consequence, a challenge to the traditional paternal conceptions of God the Father. The notion of personhood, and the nuances of definition are examined as well (with reflections by Richard McBrien and Karl Rahner) in order to see the appropriateness of locating gendered manifestations in God. Lastly, a solution os proposed where the necessity of God possessing a body will be emphasized, but not withstanding the dual and equal representation of both sides of the human experience.

Marylou Menezes graduated from Agnes Scott College in May 2004 with a B.A. in French and Philosophy. Continuing undergraduate education at Agnes Scott College for a 5th year, she is a member of Pi Delta Phi (French Honor Society), the Emory student Catholic center in Atlanta, GA, and the Agnes Scott College Newman Club. Marylou, the youngest participant in the 2nd EWA Conference, was born into a Roman Catholic family in Goa, India, but was raised for 15 years in U.A.E (in the Middle East), where the state religion was Islam. There, she was convent-educated and thereby exposed to Catholicism on a theological basis.

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