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Feminist theologian Mary Daly dies at 81

January 6, 2010 | 12:19 pm

Daly Feminist theologian and author Mary Daly, who retired from a professorship at Boston College rather than allow men to take her classes, died Sunday at a Massachusetts nursing home. She was 81.

She had been ill for some time, Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn said today.

Daly had a stormy 33-year tenure at the Jesuit university.

She challenged the patriarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in her writings. She said she barred men from her class because women did not freely exchange ideas with them present, though she did privately tutor men.

In 1999, the university ordered her to accept a male student who threatened to sue. She took a leave of absence and filed a lawsuit. It was settled in 2001 with her retirement.

An appreciation on National Public radio is here, and we'll have more later at

--Associated Press

Photo: Mary Daly in 1999. Credit: Associated Press