Female Apologists


#1

Has anyone noticed the lack of female apologists in the Catholic Church? I know there’s Rosalind Moss (I think I spelled her name wrong) and Peggy Frye (seeing her name on the home page made me think of this question). I’m sure there are others, but it does seem that we’re extremely out-numbered by the boys.

So, where are all the female apologists? And do you think that women are encouraged to be apologists as much as the men?

Scout :tiphat:


#2

Isn’t there a Michelle on the Ask an Apologist page, too?

I don’t really think gender matters. I hate it when things explode into “curse, swear, we don’t have any women here. let’s kick all the men out and force girls in.”

Maybe there are more men apologists than women. But I don’t think it’s a big deal. As long as nobody says “you can’t because you’re a woman” or “you can’t because you’re a man.”


#3

A couple of the best apologists on these forums are women: puzzleannie, and the up-and-coming shiann. Outstanding. Yes, Michelle Arnold, one of the CAF apologists is completely reliable and always generous and calm.


#4

[quote=Scout]Has anyone noticed the lack of female apologists in the Catholic Church? I know there’s Rosalind Moss (I think I spelled her name wrong) and Peggy Frye (seeing her name on the home page made me think of this question). I’m sure there are others, but it does seem that we’re extremely out-numbered by the boys.

So, where are all the female apologists? And do you think that women are encouraged to be apologists as much as the men?

Scout :tiphat:
[/quote]

IMHO Apologetics is for men. Many times discussions become polemical. This IMHO, is unbecoming a worman who is supposed to be trying to emulate Our Lady. It was a Man (Jesus) who called the Pharisees whited sepulchers filled with dead men’s bones. It was a Woman (Mary) who said do whatever he tells you to do.


#5

[quote=cardenio]Isn’t there a Michelle on the Ask an Apologist page, too?

I don’t really think gender matters. I hate it when things explode into “curse, swear, we don’t have any women here. let’s kick all the men out and force girls in.”

Maybe there are more men apologists than women. But I don’t think it’s a big deal. As long as nobody says “you can’t because you’re a woman” or “you can’t because you’re a man.”
[/quote]

I don’t think gender matters, either. My point is that it seems that the apologetics field isn’t really encouraged to women. I know there are female apologists, but there are a far less amount than male apologists. I’m just wondering why people think that is.

Scout :tiphat:


#6

My feelings on this have always been that it is part of God’s intelligent design for the sexes and indicative of the mutual complementarity of them.

There aren’t many women apologists because of the apostolic nature of the Church. Jesus chose the gender with testosterone to go into hostile cities, preach the gospel and then run for their life or fight their way out of a hostile crowd. This made sense.

Men are not as good at raising children. If the wives of early xians had been preaching to the pagans and getting martryred for it, we might not have survived as a Church. Each role was equally valuable and women whose calling is an apologist are not unusual in the least just rare.

My favourite contemporary pro-life apologist (of sorts) is Dr. Janet Smith. She explains the brutality of abortion better than most male philosophers I have read.

I suspect that Jesus chose the gentle sex to teach men and women how live, preach, fight and love with charity and grace.

The sexes are complementary. There are women who have been good apologists just as there are men who amply demonstrate traits women more usually excel at.

That is not to say that the value of an apologist is greater than a mother superior who arrives in the wilds of Quebec in the 1700s and has convents, schools and hospitals built in a decade.

Mother Theresa did not do the role Bishop Fulton Sheen did. They both did what they thought God wanted them to do and did it well.


#7

[quote=Scout]I don’t think gender matters, either. My point is that it seems that the apologetics field isn’t really encouraged to women. I know there are female apologists, but there are a far less amount than male apologists. I’m just wondering why people think that is.

Scout :tiphat:
[/quote]

In my experience, the apologetics “field” is neither discouraged or encouraged for men or women–it’s something a person just gravitates towards. If more women aren’t actively involved, it may be that they (for the most part) tend to avoid confrontation and arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. A lot us men, on the other hand, do enjoy that sort of thing–often* too * much (myself included). :wink:


#8

and that is not to imply that there are not as many women martryrs to the faith. There are probably more and women have borne the brunt of the work in this church and much of its sufffering. For every Christian man who died defending Christendom against Turks, Moors and Saracens there was a woman at home who would have to raise the children as a widow and usually in greater chance of poverty. One can be an apologist by just living the faith well. A kiind remark to another or a favour can convert a soul better the the most learned exposition.


#9

[quote=Habemus Papam!] One can be an apologist by just living the faith well. A kiind remark to another or a favour can convert a soul better the the most learned exposition.
[/quote]

Sometimes :slight_smile: .

It’s not either or; it’s both.


#10

[quote=Fidelis]In my experience, the apologetics “field” is neither discouraged or encouraged for men or women–it’s something a person just gravitates towards. If more women aren’t actively involved, it may be that they (for the most part) tend to avoid confrontation and arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. A lot us men, on the other hand, do enjoy that sort of thing–often* too *much (myself included). :wink:
[/quote]

I think this is really the point here. A study was done recently about the percentage of men vs. women who write letters to the editor or who call in to talk radio shows. The men far outnumbered the women. Apologetics can be confrontational, and a lot of men are suited to this learning style.


#11

[quote=Scout]Has anyone noticed the lack of female apologists in the Catholic Church? I know there’s Rosalind Moss (I think I spelled her name wrong) and Peggy Frye (seeing her name on the home page made me think of this question). I’m sure there are others, but it does seem that we’re extremely out-numbered by the boys.

So, where are all the female apologists? And do you think that women are encouraged to be apologists as much as the men?

Scout :tiphat:
[/quote]

We have far more female apologists than male. In fact, it’s hard to find male apologists, so those few we have really stand out, generally by doing things like writing books and going on speaking tours.

So where are all these female apologists, you ask? I’ll tell you. Walk into any CCD classroom and see who is teaching the kids. See who is leading the adult bible studies. See who is attending the bible studies and adult religious education classes. Most of them are women.

By the way, I am a woman. I have taught CCD classes at my church for years.

And I have absolutely NO problem being confrontational to anyone who needs to be confronted: Catholic, Protestant, Athiest, whatever… But I am MUCH more effective as an apologist if I build a relationship with someone, find out what they believe, then give them a “things that make you go hmmmmmm” nagging question. That tends to bring them back for more.


#12

Anyone ever heard of Grandmothers? :thumbsup:

I think there are millions of them.

I hear they even still say their rosary to bring back their fallen away relatives.

Beebs


#13

[quote=Kathleen Kelly]IMHO Apologetics is for men. Many times discussions become polemical. This IMHO, is unbecoming a worman who is supposed to be trying to emulate Our Lady. It was a Man (Jesus) who called the Pharisees whited sepulchers filled with dead men’s bones. It was a Woman (Mary) who said do whatever he tells you to do.
[/quote]

:rolleyes: Try that one on St. Catherine of Siena.


#14

We should all be evangelists and apologists, regardless of sex.

We should preach the Gospel, if necessary using words (St. Francis) and we should be ready always to satisfy every one that asketh us a reason of that hope which is in us (St. Peter).


#15

[quote=Nan S]We have far more female apologists than male. In fact, it’s hard to find male apologists, so those few we have really stand out, generally by doing things like writing books and going on speaking tours.

So where are all these female apologists, you ask? I’ll tell you. Walk into any CCD classroom and see who is teaching the kids. See who is leading the adult bible studies. See who is attending the bible studies and adult religious education classes. Most of them are women.

By the way, I am a woman. I have taught CCD classes at my church for years.

And I have absolutely NO problem being confrontational to anyone who needs to be confronted: Catholic, Protestant, Athiest, whatever… But I am MUCH more effective as an apologist if I build a relationship with someone, find out what they believe, then give them a “things that make you go hmmmmmm” nagging question. That tends to bring them back for more.
[/quote]

I could not agree more!

I am a woman who has been studying apologetics for over ten years. I am also teaching apologetics to my daughters.

As for being confrontational, I have no problem with that–just ask my husband! I have also written many letters defending the faith to the editor of our local paper, most of which have been published.


#16

[quote=mercygate]:rolleyes: Try that one on St. Catherine of Siena.
[/quote]

Hmmm. Either there is a part of the life of St. Catherine of Siena that I don’t know about. (but she was so busy I can’t think of where she could find the time to do apologetics) or perhaps you are confusing other works such as convincing the Pope to return to Rome with apologetics.

KK


#17

[quote=Kathleen Kelly]IMHO Apologetics is for men. Many times discussions become polemical. This IMHO, is unbecoming a worman who is supposed to be trying to emulate Our Lady. It was a Man (Jesus) who called the Pharisees whited sepulchers filled with dead men’s bones. It was a Woman (Mary) who said do whatever he tells you to do.
[/quote]

I like to think that it is precisely because apologetics can become polemical that more women should be apologists. Women, because they tend to be more empathetic than men, may be able to have a more calming influence on the discussions, preventing discussions from reducing to mere polemics.

St. Catherine of Alexandria, patron of apologists, pray for us!


#18

:thumbsup: Well said.

Men and women may very well have differences in the way they engage in apologetics, but women as well as men receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, and this sacrament confers the sacramental grace that enables Catholic men and women to defend the true faith:
CCC 1303 … Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace … it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross …


#19

Has anyone heard of a nun called Mother Angelica? I believe she is one of the most effective apologists out there.

She started a little media organization called EWTN,
www.ewtn.com

I think it is just perception, you notice what you look for sometimes. And sometimes apologetics involves not just dialogue\debate but your actions and how you respond to God’s call, which spreads the faith even more effectively.

God Bless
Scylla


#20

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