Contemporary society holds the opinion that the Church has declared "war on women." In this course we will examine the philosophical roots of this position, and the birth of the secular notion of the dignity of women, particularly its view of the human person's relationship to the body. We will then explore the Church's teachings on the dignity of women and her role in society. By examining Pope John Paul's Encyclical Letter, Mulieris Dignitatem "On the Dignity and Vocation of Woman", his Letter to Women, and selections from his Theology of the Body, this course will expound the Church's theology of women in their equal dignity and unique "feminine genius." Far from denying her true dignity, students of this course will see how highly the Church views women, how indispensable is her role, and how the Church's teachings promote and defend her true dignity. "The Church gives thanks for each and every woman...as they have come forth from the heart of God in all the beauty and richness of their femininity." (John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem, 31).
Hours of Instruction: 12
Irene Alexander graduated from the University of Scranton magna cum laude in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts double major in Philosophy and Theology with a concentration in Catholic Studies. In May of 2006 she received the University of Scranton's departmental awards for excellence in both Philosophy and Theology. Seeking to understand the relationship between faith and reason more deeply, she went on to study the Catholic intellectual tradition at Ave Maria University in Florida. In 2008, she earned her Master of Arts in Theology summa cum laude and is now currently finishing up her PhD in moral theology with a minor in systematic theology at Ave Maria. Her doctoral dissertation is on "Human Dignity and the Primacy of the Common Good according to the Wisdom of St.Thomas Aquinas." Irene is currently an adjunct professor of philosophy and theology for the Augustine Institute in CO via distance learning. She resides in Chandler, AZ with her husband and two children.