Abigail Favale, Ph.D., is a writer and professor in the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame. She has an academic background in gender studies and feminist literary criticism, and now writes and teaches on topics related to women and gender from a Catholic perspective.
Her latest book The Genesis of Gender: A Christian Theory was just released in June 2022 by Ignatius Press.
Abigail was received into the Catholic Church in 2014, and her conversion memoir, Into the Deep: An Unlikely Catholic Conversion, traces her journey from birthright evangelicalism to postmodern feminism to Roman Catholicism.
Abigail's essays and short stories have appeared in print and online for publications such as First Things, The Atlantic, Church Life, and Potomac Review. She was awarded the J.F. Powers Prize for short fiction in 2017.
Abigail lives with her husband and four children in South Bend, Indiana.
THE GENESIS OF GENDER
NEW FROM IGNATIUS PRESS
The question of gender—who we are as men and women—has never been more pressing, or more misunderstood.
Weaving personal experience with expert knowledge, Dr. Abigail Favale provides an in-depth yet accessible account of the gender paradigm: a framework for understanding reality and identity that has recently risen to prominence. Favale traces the genealogy of gender to its origins in feminism and postmodern thought, describing how gender has come to eclipse sex, and how that shift is reshaping language, law, medicine, sexuality, and our own self-perceptions.
With substance, clarity, and compassion, Favale teases out the hidden assumptions of the gender paradigm and exposes its effects. Yet this book is not merely an exposé—it is also a powerful, moving articulation of a Christian understanding of reality: a holistic paradigm that proclaims the dignity of the body, the sacramental meaning of sexual difference, and the interconnectedness of all creation. The Genesis of Gender is a vital, timely resource for anyone seeking to better understand the gender paradigm—and how to live beyond it.
PRAISE FOR THE GENESIS OF GENDER
INTO THE DEEP
An Unlikely Catholic Conversion
FROM CASCADE BOOKS
Into the Deep traces one woman’s spiritual odyssey from birthright evangelicalism through postmodern feminism and, ultimately, into the Roman Catholic Church. As a college student, Abigail Favale experienced a feminist awakening that reshaped her life and faith. A decade later, on the verge of atheism, she found herself entering the oldest male-helmed institution on the planet—the last place she expected to be.
With humor and insight, the author describes her gradual exodus from Christian orthodoxy and surprising swerve into Catholicism. She writes candidly about grappling with wounds from her past, Catholic sexual morality, the male priesthood, and an interfaith marriage. Her vivid prose brings to life the wrenching tumult of conversion—a conversion that began after she entered the Church and began to pry open its mysteries. There, she discovered the startling beauty of a sacramental cosmos, a vision of reality that upended her notions of gender, sexuality, identity, and authority. Into the Deep is a thoroughly twenty-first-century conversion, a compelling account of recovering an ancient faith after a decade of doubt.
PRAISE FOR INTO THE DEEP
“There are events in life that leave you changed forever, right down to the very roots and heart of your being, because they go ‘into the deep.’ Like this book. Reading it is bound to be an event like that in the lives of two classes of readers if they dare to read it with open minds and hearts: those who call themselves Evangelicals and those who call themselves Christian ‘feminists.’ The theology is profoundly Christ-centered, the psychology trustably honest, and the style winsomely alive.”
Best-selling author and apologist
“Into the Deep is a beautifully written story of conversion. In this raw and compelling narrative, Favale reminds us that, in the most mysterious of ways, God's grace can reach all of us.”
The Marian Option
“Religious conversion narratives tend to be unrealistic, focusing on single epiphanies that are rare to most human beings. Not Into the Deep. Abigail Favale has written a conversion memoir that focuses on the slow process of conversion, one that unfolds through a union of practice and intellectual inquiry . . . She is more like a tour guide, bringing even cradle Catholics like myself into a deeper appreciation of the mystery of the Church. Into the Deep is Augustine's Confessions written for our own age.”
Author, Bored-Again Catholic
"With sympathetic and smart satire that is reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor, Favale finds both sincerity and shallowness in the waves of ideological affiliations that tided her youth. Favale, the unlikely convert, persuades us that by sacramental grace and the communion of saints, the Church can see the meanest sinner hold her breath long enough to work out Her shared salvation in fear and trembling."