Published on December 3rd, 2012 | by Lauren Barnes0
Faculty Member Dr. Trimble-Alliaume Essay ‘Theology of the Body’ Published in Seminar Compilation
Lauren Barnes, Asst. News Editor
Photo above provided by Amanda Foresta: Lewis University instructor Dr. Karen Trimble-Alliaume reads from the book in which her essays were published.
Should women be priests? Is premarital sex OK? These questions were explored by Associate Professor of Theology and co-director of the Women’s Studies Dr. Karen Trimble-Alliaume, in an essay titled, “(Theology of the Body) Language: Christopher West as Harlequin 2.0,” that was published in a book called “Sex, Gender and Christianity.”
In the book college professors offer conversations about these questions that take place only if people develop the ability to deal with sex, gender and the Christian faith. This 2012 volume contributes a collection of articles, from social sciences to history and from literary criticism to theology.
Trimble-Alliaume’s essay was published along with other essays that came out of a Lilly Seminar on Gender and Christianity in the summer of 2010. In total there were 12 selected applicants who met at Seattle Pacific University under the leadership of the seminar’s co-conveners, Priscilla Pope-Levison and John R. Levison.
Fellow participants shared common interests in their students and particular topics like literature, sociology, social psychology, theology and Biblical studies. They were interested in carrying on conversations about the ways that gender and Christianity connected on various Christian-affiliated campuses.
“It was a wonderful month of good conversation and work with great colleagues,” Trimble-Alliaume said. “I was also the only Catholic participant in the seminar, among colleagues from mostly Protestant and evangelical campuses, so it was interesting for us to share views from our different contexts.”
Trimble-Alliaume’s essay focuses on Christopher West, author of several books about the late Pope John Paul II’s work on sexuality and marriage known as the ‘theology of the body.’ Her interest sparked with this topic because of some of her past students who had a great interest in it, and because she was always interested to further examine the appeal of both Pope John Paul’s teachings and West’s to their age group.
“My thesis is that West’s work appeals especially to young Catholic women because of his use of the conventions of popular romance novels, and that this ‘romantic’ quality of his writing highlights some aspects of his message and obscures others,” Trimble-Alliaume said.
Trimble-Alliaume was greatly encouraged by the good conversations about the work in progress during the seminar.
“It was really good to know that our hard work paid off, and I think the final volume is an excellent, accessible, interdisciplinary collection of essays about the ways sex, gender and Christianity intertwine, especially for a college student or even a college professor audience,” Trimble-Alliaume said.
The finished book consists of essays from a variety of different professors meant to start conversations about some of the issues and controversy that college students confront in their lives.