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Dr Mary Condren

My interdisciplinary work concerns the interface between worldviews and gender, with a specific focus on cultures that promote violence. My degrees are in theology, sociology, social anthropology (University of Hull); religion and society (Boston College); religion, gender and culture (Harvard University).

My research draws on mythology, political psychology, psychoanalytic, philosophical and feminist theories, and I currently have several books in progress. The first concerns the contemporary cultural possibilities offered by the pre-Celtic and Celtic figure of Brigit, (goddess and saint) matronness of smithwork, healing, poetry and mercy. The second focuses on the role of sacrifice, violence and legitimation, using Aeschylus' Oresteian trilogy. The third concerns the role of myth and religion in promoting internalised oppression and horizontal violence among women.

Select Publications

  • "Brigit: Matronness of Poetry, Healing, Smithwork and Mercy: Female Divinity in a European Wisdom Tradition," Journal of the European Journal of Women in Theological Research 18 (2010) 5-29. doi: 10.2143/ESWTR.18.0.2056267
  • "Relational Theology in the Work of Artist, Psychoanalyst and Theorist, Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger, in Through Us, With Us, In Us: Relational Theologies in the Twenty-first Century, eds. Lisa Isherwood and Elaine Bellchambers, (SCM Press, London, 2010), 230-263.
  • "Suffering into Truth: Constructing the Patriarchal Sacred", in Journal of Feminist Theology Vol. 17 (3): 356-392. (2009) doi. 10.1177/0966735009102364
  • "Feminist Theoretical Perspectives On Ethics In Radiology," Radiation Protection Dosimetry (2009) doi. 10.1093/rpd/ncp055
  • "Gender, Religion, and War," in Religion and the Politics of Peace and Conflict eds. Linda Hogan and Dylan Lee Lehrke, Princeton Theological Monograph Series (OR: Eugene: Pickwick Publications, Wipf and Stock, 2009), pp. 125-158.
  • "Melting Hearts of Stone: Mercy not Sacrifice", in Lisa Isherwood and Kathleen McPhillips (eds) Post-Christian Feminisms: A Critical Appraisal (Ashgate Press, (2008) ) pp. 147-166.
  • How Can Women Make a Difference to World Peace? Exploring New Ways to Mother the World, Proceedings of the Peace Forum Gwangju, Korea, June 2007, pp.113-122.
  • "War, Religion, Gender and Psyche: An Irish Perspective," in Holy War and Gender: 'Gotteskrieg' und Geschlecht"eds. Christina von Braun, Ulrike Brunotte, Gabriele Dietze, Daniela Hrzan, Gabriele Jähnert, Dagmar Pruin, Centre for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin, (New Brunswick, NJ, London: Transaction Publishers, (2006) pp. 143-177.
  • "Theology in the Making" in Theology in the Making eds. Gesa E. Thiessen and Declan Marmion, (Dublin: Veritas, 2005), pp. 34-44.
  • The Serpent and the Goddess: Women, Religion, and Power in Celtic Ireland. A treatment of women in myth, church, history, and politics in Ireland, the study ranges from pre-Christian, early Christian, and late medieval Ireland, and explores the contemporary consequences of decisions taken, and political structures established during those eras. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989: Dublin: New Island Books, 2002).
  • "Luce Irigaray and the Question of the Divine", Women's Philosophy Review no. 28, 2001-2002, pp.112-115.
  • "Editor's Introduction," Section Editor: Theology and Ethics: The Twentieth Century, Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing Volume 4 Cork University Press, 2002, pp.655-753.
  • "Introduction" to Irish Women's Wisdom, and article, "Brigit: Soulsmith for the New Millennium," pp. 39-49. Special Issue of Irish Journal of Feminist Studies, Cork University Press, 2002. Volume 4, Number 2. Also published in Concilium: In the Power of Wisdom eds. María Pilar Aquino and Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, vol. 5, (London: SCM Press, 2000), pp.107-119, and in Irish Spirit ed. Patricia Monaghan, (Dublin: Wolfhound Press, 2001): 120-133.
  • "Gender and Myth" Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women's Studies, Editors Cheris Kramarae and Dale Spender, 4 vols (London: Routledge, 2000), vol. 3. pp.1424-1427.
  • "Von Menschenhand gemacht: Die gesellschaftliche Konstruktion heiliger Orte" in Schlangenbrut: streitschrift für feministische und religioös interessierte frauen Nr. 66 17. Jg. 1999, pp.28-31.
  • "The Uncreated Conscience of our Race," in Celtic Threads ed. Padraigin Clancy, (Dublin: Veritas Publications, 1999): 1-11.
  • "Women, shame and abjection: reflections in the light of Julia Kristeva" Contact: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Pastoral Studies no. 130, 1999, pp.10-19.
  • "The Theology of Sacrifice and the Non-Ordination of Women", in Concilium: the Non-Ordination of Women and the Politics of Power ed. Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Hermann Haring, vol. 3, (London: S.C.M. Press, 1999), pp. 50-57
  • "Mercy Not Sacrifice: Toward a Celtic Theology", Feminist Theology No. 15, May 1997, pp.31-54.
  • "Forgetting Our Divine Origins: The Warning of Dervogilla", in From the Realm of the Ancestors: An Anthology in Honor of Marija Gimbutas ed. Joan Marler, (Manchester: CT: Knowledge, Ideas and Trends, 1997. Also published in Irish Journal of Feminist Studies vol. 2 no. 1 (1997): 117-132.
  • "Gender and Representation", and "Celtic Spirituality", entries in Dictionary of Feminist Theologies eds. Letty Russell and Shannon Clarkson, (Louisville, KY: Westminster, 1996).
  • "To Bear Children for the Fatherland: Mothers and Militarism", Concilium December 1989, and in The Power of Naming, ed. Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, (New York: Orbis Books, 1996).
  • "Sacrifice and Political Legitimation: The Production of a Gendered Social Order", Journal of Women's History, Winter/Spring, 1995, vol. 6, no. 4; vol. 7 no.1 pp.160-89.


I have taught at the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies in TCD since 1994, specifically focussing on gender, representation, violence, myth and the sacred.

I have also taught at many locations throughout the world including Harvard University, University College Dublin, The Irish Management Institute, and The Royal College of Surgeons, and am currently an Honorary Fellow of the University of Winchester, England.

I am director of The Institute for Feminism and Religion, an independent educational company where I both teach and coordinate courses and events in the area of gender and religion, and have organised and resourced Festivals of Brigit (in Ireland and abroad) for over twenty years.

Dr Condren on the TCD Research Support System

Contact Details

Centre for Gender and Women's Studies
University of Dublin Trinity College
Rm. B6.013, 6th Floor, Arts Building
Dublin 2

Telephone: 00 353 1 896 2225