Elyse Raby ’08, PhD, to Present 22nd Annual Anne Drummey O’Callaghan Lecture, Oct. 5

Elyse Raby ’08, PhD, to Present 22nd Annual Anne Drummey O’Callaghan Lecture, Oct. 5

Elyse Raby, PhD

The Center for Catholic Studies will welcome alumna Dr. Elyse Raby back to Fairfield University for a lecture titled “Whose Body Is the Body of Christ?”

The Church is often referred to as “the body of Christ.” But what exactly is a body? In her lecture at 5 p.m. in the Dolan School of Business Event Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 5, Elyse Raby, PhD, will show how the body is used as a symbol of society.

Dr. Raby will discuss ways in which, throughout history, theologians and popes have typically described the human body as self-enclosed and defined by its head, in order to justify a vision of the Church—the ecclesial body—as set apart from the world and governed by the pope.

In our own day, the magisterium’s commitment to gender complementarity reinforces a particularly hierarchical understanding of the Church. Bodies, Dr. Raby will propose, are much more complex than the Church has typically admitted. New reflections on embodiment and gender can open up new ways to envision the Church. Likewise, Pope Francis’ reforms may bring about a new openness to gender diversity in the Church.

A 2008 graduate of Fairfield University, Dr. Raby worked in Fairfield’s Center for Catholic Studies from 2010 to 2013. “She was the life and soul of the place and made it easy to come to work every day,” said director of the Center, Professor Paul Lakeland, PhD. “And even back then, it was obvious she was going places… theologically speaking.”

Dr. Raby received her PhD from Boston College in 2021. As a Catholic theologian, she works at the intersections of ecclesiology, embodiment, and gender. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University.

Presented by the Center for Catholic Studies at Fairfield University, this 22nd annual lecture honors Anne Drummey O’Callaghan, who devoted her life—as catechist, advocate for the intellectually disabled, youth minister, and director of religious education—to spreading the good news among children, teenagers, and adults in the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Please join us at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5 in the Dolan School of Business Event Hall for Dr. Raby’s lecture, “Whose Body Is the Body of Christ?” This lecture is free and open to the public. If unable to attend in person, please register for the livestream at  fairfield.edu/cs.

Elyse Raby '08, PhD: "Whose Body Is the Body of Christ?"

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Dolan School of Business Event Hall

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