Reclaiming a Woman-CentredSpiritual Heritage

New Course offered by Institute for Feminism and Religion

In the face of today’s religious, economic and political crises, many women are struggling to find the ways and means of asking intelligent questions, expressing their spiritual concerns, findings wellsprings of renewal, and forging a spiritual identity adequate to the times in which we live. Drawing on ancient Irish women-centred sources, this course will explore the wellsprings in our cultural heritage for re-imagining and reshaping our future.

A particular focus of the course will be on Brigit, the goddess, saint, lawmaker, peacekeeper, and general trouble shooter.  As matronness of poetry, healing and smithwork, Brigit offers a role model for women today, rooted in tradition, lavish in symbolism, supported by ritual, and grounded in ethics. A child of parents who were rich and poor, pagan and Christian, Brigit builds bridges between diverse traditions enabling women to surmount the differences artificially created by patriarchal forms of religion, and to imagine new forms of cultural and spiritual expression adequate to our times.

Readingswill be provided (mostly online) and participants will be encouraged to contribute actively to discussions.      

The course will consist of ten sessions with the following themes:

In the Beginning. The evidence for an Irish woman-centred worldview.

Thealogy:The main monotheistic faiths have traditionally excluded women from any forms of authority or officiation. What are the implications?

Finding the holy in ancient Irish sites: Our earliest ancestorssaw divinity everywhere, rooted in nature. They did not split between the sacred and profane.

Imbolc: the symbols associated with Brigit’s traditional festival, Imbolc, celebrated on February 1st. contain vital information regarding our ancestors’ understanding of the cosmos.

The War of the Gods:  Assessing the evidence in Irish mythology of struggle between competing versions of theology.

Crossing the threshold with Brigit as Poet, Healer and Smithworker

Thealogy Today: What might it mean to reclaim a matri-centred world view today?

Imagining the Future: What are the implications for the social imaginary, spirituality, and our personal practises?

Course Co-ordinator:Mary CondrenTh.D. : Director of the Institute for Feminism and Religion; teaches at the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies in Trinity College Dublin; author of many works on various aspects of feminist theory and religion, including the Serpent and the Goddess: Women, Religion and Power in Celtic Ireland. This course will draw on material from her forthcoming book on Brigit: Soulsmith for our Time (New Island Books, Autumn, 2011).   

Venue:  Catherine McAuley Centre, 23 Lr. Herbert Street, Dublin 1. (Near Baggot Street Bridge). 

Dates: Mondays 7:30 – 9:30, Starting September 27. Ten weeks, (excluding the Bank Holiday, October 25th).

Early Bird (before September 10th)  €150:00 (Deposit€50:00)

Regular Fee:175:00.  Deposit 50.00

Concessions:  Limited number of concessions available to full students and SW recipients. €100:00  (Deposit €30:00).

Registration:Please send registration fee to this address:

Institute for Feminism and Religion, 16 Holly Park Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.  Cheques, drafts or POs only.

Further Enquiries:  Email: Please leave a phone number if you wish to speak with someone. We will call you back.

Registration Details: Please give your name, address, phone number, and email, and the amount.  

For further information about the Institute for Feminism and Religion please see our website: