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Mary Daly, radical feminist, dead at 81

January 04, 2010

Mary Daly, a radical theologian who described herself as a “post-Christian feminist,” died in Massachusetts on January 3 at the age of 81, after a long illness.

Daly’s 33-year teaching career at Jesuit-run Boston College was marked by two crises. In 1968 she was dismissed, but then brought back and granted tenure after student protests against her removal. In 1999 she was again removed, when she refused to accept a male student into a class on feminism. Her lawsuit challenging the firing was settled out of court.

Daly’s feminism grew more radical over the years, and her attacks on the “patriarchy” of the Church evolved into condemnation of most Christian doctrine. Her many books often carried outlandish titles, pointing to the extremism of her thought:

  • Gyn/Ecology:The Meta-Ethics of Radical Feminism
  • Outercourse: The Be-Dazzling Voyage[her autobiography]
  • Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy
  • Amazon Grace: Re-Calling the Courage to Sin Big.


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    • Posted by: Gentillylace - Jan. 05, 2010 9:04 PM ET USA

      I thought that Mary Daly's "The Church and the Second Sex" was an interesting and useful book. However, I found her later books to be offputting, except for the first part of "Outercourse". It is a shame that a woman of her searching intellect separated herself from the Church. With all her doctorates in religion, theology and philosophy, it was probably not due to ignorance. May God have mercy on her soul, and grant her peace!

    • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jan. 04, 2010 8:28 PM ET USA

      May God have mercy on her soul, and bring to true faith all those who believed her anti-Christian madness.

    • Posted by: DJM749 - Jan. 04, 2010 8:01 PM ET USA

      Well, now she'll find out for sure who was right--herself, or the Church.

    • Posted by: adamah - Jan. 04, 2010 7:29 PM ET USA

      Lord, have mercy.