On July 26, 2019 AGR and the Escondido United Reformed Church were pleased to co-host the first-ever Abounding Grace Radio conference. Our speaker this year was Dr Rosaria Butterfield. She is a former tenured professor of English and women’s studies at Syracuse University, who was converted to Christ in 1999 in what she describes as a train wreck. Her memoir The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert chronicles that difficult journey. Rosaria is married to Kent, a Reformed Presbyterian pastor in North Carolina, and is a homeschool mother, author, and speaker.

Raised and educated in liberal Catholic settings, Rosaria fell in love with the world of words. In her late twenties, allured by feminist philosophy and LGBT advocacy, she adopted a lesbian identity. Rosaria earned her PhD from The Ohio State University, then served in the English department and women’s studies program at Syracuse University from 1992 to 2002. Her primary academic field was critical theory, specializing in queer theory. Her historical focus was 19th-century literature, informed by Freud, Marx, and Darwin. She advised the LGBT student group, wrote Syracuse University’s policy for same-sex couples, and actively lobbied for LGBT aims alongside her lesbian partner.

In her first talk, the audio of which is presented below, she addressed the question: What is intersectionality and why does it matter? If you have been wondering about “critical theory” and “intersectionality” and why everyone seems to be talking about them, this a good place to start. Dr Butterfield has been studying and thinking about these issues for some time and she brings that research to bear on this topic.

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