Monday, January 04, 2010

Mary Daly, 1928-2010

updated again : Jan.5, 11:11 p.m.
Mary Daly, theologian, philosopher, author, and professor, who influenced a great number of people involved in spiritual feminism, whether in Goddess or Abrahamic religions, as well as feminists not directly involved in religion, died Jan. 3 in the Wachusett Manor nursing home in Garner, Massachusetts after a long illness. She was 81.

Daly held three doctorates: in Religion, Sacred Theology, and Philosophy. She taught at Boston College, a Jesuit institution, for 33 years until 1999, and not without controversy. Her first books were The Church and the Second Sex (1968) and Beyond God the Father (1973). Especially beginning with Gyn/Ecology (1978), in which she suggested that we describe the divine with the verb "Be-ing" rather than the noun "[a] Being," Daly became known for her linquistic explorations and creative use of language, which continued through her other books: Pure Lust (1984), Webster's First New Intergalactic Wickedary (with Jane Caputi, 1987), Outercourse (1992), Quintessence (1998), and Amazon Grace (2006).

The Boston Globe online reports that a caregiver was reading to Daly from Wickedary when she died, and that although friends plan a memorial service, according to one of her former graduate students, Daly's wish was that if people wanted to memorialize her, they do so by gathering groups in their locality to read or discuss her work.
"Tribute to an Amazon Sister"[Video by Aphrodisiastes re-added 1/13]

Thanks to Z Budapest, Bobbie Grennier et al; some photos by Gail Bryan, music by Karla Bonoff.

[update Jan.4 10:22 p.m. : Two responses today to Daly's death are among those that may be of interest: from the National Catholic Reporter; from Thorn Coyle.]
[update Jan. 7, 2:02 p.m. New York Times obituary]

May she rest in the arms of Goddess, whether verb or noun, and be renewed.

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At Thursday, January 07, 2010 1:06:00 AM, Anonymous Audrey said...

Mary Daly was the greatest lesbian feminist thinker and heroine of the 20th century. Her work changed my life, and gave me the courage to fight back with every cell of my brain.

I loved her cleverness, the way she could name the oppression of women, and the way she took apart patriarchy like a tinker toy set.

Her great Wickidary is particularly cherished, and I know this is going to be a sad day for a radical lesbians worldwide who so found a champion in her. Goddess as a very or noun, she's no doubt talking to her now, cackling about cockaludicrous snools no doubt.

At Friday, January 08, 2010 12:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While, I am not a radical lesbian, I am a radical feminist and Mary Daly changed my life too. She taught me to question assumptions and get to the heart of my own being. Her deconstruction of the sublime, sublimation,and the subliminal in Pure Lust blew all male psychology to dust. To know the deception and the lie was truly liberating.
Bless her and may she continue to inspire.

At Saturday, January 09, 2010 2:33:00 PM, Anonymous Audrey said...

P.S. I just have to say I love the name of this blog. Medusa Coils... Mary would have approved :-)


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Judith Laura

More blogs about /goddess/feminist theology/spiritual feminism/pagan/feminist spirituality/.