Radical Love: Dawn Eden Brings Her Message to Benedictine

A popular Catholic theologian and author of books on chastity, beauty and healing will speak at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, this week.

Dawn Eden will speak on “Chastity and the Mystical Rose,” Friday, April 13th, at 7:30 pm, in the McAllister Board Room of the Ferrell Academic Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Dawn Eden Goldstein uses her first and middle name as her pen name. She has an unusual history for a woman holding a doctorate of theology — and her story has been told in unusual places, like the Chicago Tribune, which wrote:

“Raised in a Reform Jewish household in New Jersey, Goldstein became an agnostic in 1981 after a rabbi preparing her for her bat mitzvah told her questions about her Torah portion belonged to scholars, not 13-year-old girls. …

“In high school, she began writing for rock music publications and dropped Goldstein from her nom de plume. Though she never legally changed her name, she remained Dawn Eden for decades to come. After graduating from New York University in 1989 with a degree in communications, she continued writing about rock, composing liner notes, covering shows and interviewing musicians.

“Battling bouts of suicidal depression, she found herself drawn to Jesus 10 years later and sought baptism at a Seventh-day Adventist church where she lived in Hoboken, N.J. But the Protestant denomination didn’t hold much appeal for Goldstein. Initially, Catholicism’s complex liturgy and lack of fellowship also turned her off. But the church’s position against abortion … and fertility treatments reflected Goldstein’s political views.”

Eden is known for her victim advocacy in sexual abuse cases. Of the recent #MeToo movement, she told CruxNews, “The Catholic Church should take a leading role, not only in raising people’s awareness of the crime against human dignity that is sexual abuse but also the Catholic Church should likewise lead in promoting healing.”

In a recent National Catholic Register interview she said of her chastity advocacy, “My prime audience is single Catholic adults who have been chewed up, swallowed and spit out by the dating culture. Having missed the memo on abstinence, they are now seeking a happier way to live and love than what society is offering them.”

Her message, she said is that “True Christians aren’t anti-pleasure. We’re pro-joy, and because of that, we’re willing to defer or forgo temporary pleasures in order to attain the fulfillment that we were made for.”

“Chastity is in because it’s rebellious,” she said. “Practically the entire culture — certainly the whole of mainstream media, driven by advertising — is geared toward reducing human persons to objects. The chaste individual bucks the system because he or she refuses to buy into this culture of objectification. When we choose to be chaste, we assert our dignity as human persons, whose value is in who we are — not what we do or have done to us, what we wear or what we own.”

Click here for more information about her visit (or, for her own blog post about it, click here).

iCatholic image from here.

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.