Being Human Podcast - Episode 110: Beyond Stereotypes: Gender, Culture, and Catholicism w/ Dr. Jennifer E. Morel

podcast Jan 01, 2020

Welcome to Episode 110 of the Being Human Podcast: Beyond Stereotypes: Gender, Culture, and Catholicism w/ Dr. Jennifer E. Morel

Joining Dr. Greg for this week’s episode is special guest Dr. Jennifer E. Morel, a moral theologian, research scholar, author, and co-founder of the International Institute of Culture and Gender! In their conversation, they explore the complexities of defining authentic masculinity and femininity, revealing why it’s essential to look beyond cultural and historical stereotypes to gain an understanding of what it means to be a man or a woman. 


Discussed in this episode:

  • Meet Dr. Jennifer E. Morel!
  • The importance of holding both the objective and the subjective when approaching questions about gender and sex;
  • Why most paradigms used to define the masculine and feminine genius are too shallow, missing what is actually true about being a man or woman; 
  • Examples and stories from Dr. Morel’s cultural research about the ways different cultures view gender roles;
  • Masculinity and femininity as something we grow in our whole lives; 
  • Announcement of CatholicPsych Press receiving rights from the Vatican to print certain out-of-print plays written by St. John Paul II;   
  • The need for the Church to provide a clear and cohesive picture of what it means to be a man or a woman to offer as an antidote to the confusion in modern culture;
  • Fatherhood as being like the work of an artist, and the importance of a father making a choice to participate in the life of his family; 
  • In cross cultural studies, is there a sense that one can grow into a greater experience of humanity through interaction with the opposite sex?


Resources mentioned or relevant:

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About Dr. Jennifer E. Morel

Cajun by birth, Dr. Jennifer E. Morel completed her undergraduate degree in theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2002. After two years in youth ministry, her spiritual director told her, "You're young, you're single, go to Rome and study!" She proceeded to the eternal city - with almost no Italian and no money! - and earned graduate degrees at the Pontifical Universities of the Angelicum and the Gregorian, studying as well at the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. 

In 2013, she obtained her doctorate with a thesis in Catholic social doctrine at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross while serving as coordinator of studies for the Markets, Culture, and Ethics Research Centre, marrying a love of the family with a desire to better address poverty. Former professor of moral theology at Notre Dame Seminary, Graduate School of Theology in New Orleans, and having taught courses and presented around the world on Catholic Feminism and on Gender Identity, Dr. Morel is currently a Research Scholar for the International Institute of Culture and Gender Studies. Author and podcast guest on gender, she continues to teach internationally while finishing her Scriptural and cultural research for a book on “a theology of masculinity and femininity.” 


About Dr. Greg and the CatholicPsych Institute

Dr. Bottaro is a clinical psychologist and founder of the CatholicPsych Institute. He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, a graduate school that integrates Catholic philosophy and theology with sound, empirically validated psychology.

Before his degree, Dr. Bottaro discerned a religious vocation with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFRs). He lived four years in the Bronx, serving the poor in the tradition of St. Francis of Assisi. Under the mentorship of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, this experience helped him form a spirituality based on Abandonment to Divine Providence which he now applies to psychological principles in his practice. He learned from Fr. Benedict how to discern God's voice and live a life in service to others.

Six years after leaving NYC as a friar, he returned as a psychologist. The CatholicPsych Institute began there in 2012 and has since grown to 5 offices with 12 therapists serving clients around the globe.

Dr. Bottaro now lives in Connecticut with his wife Barbra and their seven children. He actively avoids watching the news and spends his free time thinking up crazy new ideas on how to make the world a better place.