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When the Female Body Troubles the Male Intellectual Mind: A Cross Post from Christianity Today

Starting in May, we (the LFP office) start traveling to various conferences for our Lilly Graduate Fellows.  Throughout the year they are hard at work in the graduate programs and engaging in online colloquiums.  Then in the summers, they come together for conferences that are held over three or four days at one of the mentor’s home campus.  We just got back from one held at Baylor University.  Baylor has several graduate students in our Lilly Graduate Fellow program and we had a chance to catch up with some of them, which is where I learned about this article written by the Third Cohort’s Rachel Pietka.  Written in April, Pietka is responding to John Piper’s take on female intellectuals – more specifically Bible commentaries written by women.

Apparently Piper has trouble with women directly in person conveying knowledge to him, because, as Pietka puts it, “a woman teacher stands before him, he says, making him aware of his own manhood and her womanhood.”  This troubling for Piper, as Pietka points out, pulling human sexuality into the intellectual mix.  Equally troublesome is that Piper is threatened by female power.  Women’s ideas, according to Piper, can only be expressed indirectly.

There is more in Pietka’s post. Check out what she has to say in her excellent post on Christianity Today.

Rachel Pietka received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Azusa Pacific University in 2006.  She completed her M.A. at Chapman University in 2009, and she is currently in the PhD program in English at Baylor University.  She studies women writers and religious issues, specifically nineteenth-century American literature, transatlantic perspectives, and life writing.

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