Internationally known expert in Catholic Studies to deliver lecture at Fairfield University


"Phyllis Zagano, well-known for her advocacy for the ordination of women as deacons, works within the Catholic tradition as a scholar who both respects and stretches existing boundaries. - Dennis M. Doyle, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Dayton

Image: Phyllis ZaganoPhyllis Zagano, Ph.D., who literally wrote the book on the restoration of the female diaconate in the Catholic Church, will speak at Fairfield University, on Wednesday, March 28 at 8 p.m. Sponsored by Fairfield's Center for Catholic Studies, the event - free and open to the public - will take place in the Dolan School of Business.

A Hofstra University faculty member, Dr. Zagano is an internationally known expert in Catholic Studies who will deliver a lecture entitled, "Women and Catholicism," based on her book of the same name. She describes her work as demonstrating how the place of women in Catholicism is constrained by hierarchical unwillingness (or inability) to recognize women as equals.

"Phyllis Zagano has lately broadened her concerns to the place of women in the Catholic Church in general," said Paul F. Lakeland, Ph.D., the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies and director of the Center for Catholic Studies. "She uses unusual and sometimes scandalous behavior on the part of bishops to bring sex and gender issues in the Church into sharper focus."

Concerning Dr. Zagano's book, "Women and Catholicism: Gender, Communion, and Authority" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), National Catholic Reporter noted: "Zagano's commitment to doing her homework is on full display as she ably synthesizes journalism, canon law, ecclesiology, and a solid working knowledge of church practice. It is helpful that, in a book that focuses on borderline cases, she seems committed to not taking sides." Zagano is also a regular columnist with the National Catholic Reporter.

Other books by the award-winning scholar include "Woman Deacons: Past, Present, Future," (with Gary Macy, Paulist Press, 2012), and "Women in Ministry: Emerging Questions about the Diaconate" (Paulist Press, May, 2012). Dr. Zagano joined Hofstra University in 2002. She is the author or editor of ten books in religious studies, including "Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church" (Crossroad, 2000), winner of a First Place Book Award from the Catholic Press Association and the College Theology Society Annual Book Award (2002).

She has published hundreds of articles and reviews in popular and refereed journals, and for five years hosted a monthly talk show on the National Public Radio affiliate station, WBUR-FM. She has taught at Fordham, Boston and Yale Universities, and worked as a researcher for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

For more information, visit http://www.fairfield.edu/cs/cs_lectures.html.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 12, 2012

Vol. 44, No. 225