Julia A. Feder, PhD
Julia A. Feder, PhD

Julia A. Feder, PhD

Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences


  • theological anthropology, feminist theologies, theology and science, theologies of suffering

Academic Appointments


  • Theology


  • Associate Professor

Teaching Activity

  • Introduction to the Christian Tradition
  • Seminar in Christian Anthropology


Dr. Julia Feder’s research focuses on theological anthropology, suffering and salvation.  Her book project, Trauma and Salvation: A Theology of Healing, draws on the writings of the Spanish mystic Teresa of Avila and Flemish political theologian Edward Schillebeeckx to construct healing from sexual trauma as a mystical-political practice.  In her previous position as a research fellow at the Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing at the University of Notre Dame, she had the opportunity to work together with biological anthropologists to examine the centrality of symbol-making in the human niche.  She continues to think and write theologically about human evolution, drawing connections between Edward Schillebeeckx’s understanding of human experience and imagination (particularly the role of “negative contrast experiences”) and biological anthropologists’ understanding of human symbolic behavior and cognition.
A more complete list of publications and scholarly interests can be found on her Curriculum Vitae.

Publications and Presentations


  • “Edward Schillebeeckx and Sexual Trauma: Salvation as Healing,” in Edward Schillebeeckx and the Theology of Public Life., T & T Clark
  • Trauma and Salvation: A Theology of Healing., Fortress
  • “Traumatic Violence and Christian Wisdom: Possibilities for Wounding and Healing,” Evolution of Wisdom: Major and Minor Keys, edited by Agustin Fuentes and Celia Deane-Drummond (Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing, 2018)., Center for Theology
  • Homo Symbolicus: Cognition and Communion,” Putting God on the Map: Theology and Conceptual Mapping, edited by Erin Kidd and Jakob Karl Rinderknecht (Lanham: Lexington/Fortress, 2018), Lexington Books: A Division of Rowman and Littlefield, 43-68
  • Homo Sapiens Sapiens: The Human as Homemaker,” The Evolution of Human Wisdom, edited by Celia Deane-Drummond and Agustín Fuentes (New York: Lexington Books, 2017), Lexington Books: A Division of Rowman and Littlefield, 85-106


  • "Directed Toward Relationship: William Stoeger's Immanent Directionality and Edward Schillebeeckx's Mystical Eschatology", Theological Studies, Vol. 78, Issue 2, 447-461, 2017
  • "Genetics, Race, and the Practice of Science", Anthropology News, 2016
  • "O Virgin of Virgins, Our Mother: A Feminist Reconstruction of Mary's Perpetual Virginity as a Model for Christian Discipleship.", Journal of Interdisciplinary Feminist Thought, 4, 1, 2010
  • “The Impossible is Made Possible: Edward Schillebeeckx, Symbolic Imagination, and Eschatological Faith.”, Philosophy, Theology, and the Sciences, 3, 2, 188-216
  • "Confronting Rape Culture: A Task for Political Theology," Political Theology Network Symposium, #PTtoo.  Online Publication: https://politicaltheology.com/confronting-rape-culture/, Political Theology
  • “Human Suffering, Evolution, and Ecological Niches: Edward Schillebeeckx in Dialogue with Niche Construction Theory”, Journal of Religion and Society, Supplement 16, Religion and Globalization (2018), 150-64

Editing and Reviews

  • "Review: The Feminine Genius of Catholic Theology by Matthew Levering.", Theology and Sexuality, 20, no. 2, 161-63. , 2014
  • "Review: How Survivors of Abuse Relate to God: The Authentic Spirituality of the Annihilated Soul by Susan Shooter.", Theology and Sexuality, 19, no. 2, 184-185, 2013
  • "Review: Sex, Violence, and Justice: Contraception and the Catholic Church, by Aline H. Kalbian., Theology and Sexuality, 22, 150-51


  • "Race, Omaha, and the Christian Tradition," Enhancing Jesuit Education Through Multicultural, Feminist and Ignatian Pedagogies, Creighton University, Faculty Conversations Round Table, 2018
  • "Women, Leadership, and the Catholic Church," dialogue with Maryanne Stevens, College of Saint Mary, 2018
  • "'The prayers of all good people are good': Human Connection Across Religious Difference," panel with Rabbi Steven Abraham, Rev. Canon Elizabeth Easton, and Nuzhat Mahmood, Willa Cather's My Antonia at 100: the ongoing story, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 2018
  • "The Christian Tradition and Traumatic Violence: Possibilities for Wounding and Healing," Human Distinctiveness: Wisdom's Deep Evolution, University of Notre Dame London Gateway, London, UK, 2017
  • "Catholic Religious Violence and Trauma," Response to John Sheveland, College Theology Society, Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island., 2017
  • "Hearing the Cry of Tamar," co-authored with Elizabeth Groppe, Project Tamar Consultation, Saint Mary's College, Indiana., 2017
  • "Human Suffering, Evolution, and Ecological Niches: Edward Schillebeeckx in Dialogue with Niche Construction Theory," Religion in a Global Context Conference, The Kripke Center., 2017
  • "Fortification: Posttraumatic Healing and Teresa of Avila's Theology of Courage," Relation, Vulnerability, Love: Theological Anthropology in the 21st Century, Leuven, Belgium., 2016
  • “Homo Sapiens Sapiens: Visions of the Human as Place-Maker,” Evolution of Wisdom Colloquium, Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom., 2016
  • “Imagination, (Im)possibility, and Wisdom,” Evolution of Wisdom Colloquium, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana., 2016
  • “Directed toward Relationship: William Stoeger’s Immanent Directionality and Edward Schillebeeckx’s Mystical Eschatology,” Catholic Theological Society of America, Theology and Science Session, Justice and Mercy, San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 2016., 2016
  • “Human Distinctiveness and Negative Contrast Experience: A Way Forward?” Catholic Theological Society of America, Selected Session: “Assessing the Sensus Fidelium of the ‘Sinned-Against’: A Critical Conversation,” Sensus Fidelium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin., 2015
  • “Theology and Human Distinctiveness: Edward Schillebeeckx as a Point of Departure,” Human Distinctiveness Summer Seminar, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana., 2015
  • “Human Suffering, Evolution, and Ecological Niches,” College Theology Society, An Unexpected Wilderness: Seeking God on a Changing Planet, Portland, Oregon., 2015
  • "Teresa of Avila: Prayer as an Adventure in Love," a Response to Keith Egan, How Love Transforms: A Symposium to Celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Birth of Teresa of Avila, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois., 2015
  • "Teresa of Avila," 500th Anniversary of Teresa of Avila's Birth, St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana., 2015
  • “Edward Schillebeeckx and Sexual Trauma: Salvation as Healing,” Edward Schillebeeckx Centenary Conference, Nijmegen, Netherlands., 2014
  • "Teresa of Avila and Love," All You Need is Love: Honoring the Diversity of Women's Voices in Theology, Mennonite Church USA Conference, Leesburg, Virginia., 2014
  • "Women in Theology," Notre Dame Summer Scholars Series., 2013

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • theological anthropology, feminist theologies, theology and science, theologies of suffering

Current Research Projects

  • trauma theology, theological readings of human evolution