The Mago Hedge School: Why Remember Mary Daly? By Helen Hye Sook Hwang


By writing this, I do not intend to defend Mary Daly’s position in any dispute. A controversial figure, Mary Daly never let go of her fight with those whom she thought on the other side of her feminist war. Like anyone else in history, Mary Daly belonged to her time and culture, and I leave her unresolved issues up to her. What I write here is my fond memory of her, whose feminist thought left an indelible mark on my being as well as humanity as a whole. Daly’s contribution remains to be reassessed from the fresh eye of new generations. In the meantime, I begin to speak for my part. Without Mary Daly’s thought, I would not have been in this place where I stand right now. It has empowered me to actualize my dreams to the fullest as a wo/man who was born and raised in Korea but had come from the One Home in origin.

I first hear of the hedge school
“Have you heard of the hedge school, Hye Sook?” asked Mary. “No, I haven’t heard of it,” I answered. This conversation took place during the conference called the Feminist Hullaballoo held in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2007. We met there and spent three days as chums. Mary was with another friend, Yvonne Johnson, so the three of us hung out together. It was a very special time for me – I felt as if I were wrapped up in the eye of the storm. (In fact, my life feels so.) At the conference, someone asked me how I came to be invited as a featured speaker. I was among such renowned feminist speakers as Sonia Johnson, Paula Gunn Allen, and Mary Daly herself. They felt like giants to me. I told her that Mary Daly invited me. Mary had asked me if I would like to go and speak at that conference. I did not have an inflated ego. I would not have been hurt if I were not chosen. But I said “Yes” without hesitation. At the time, it felt like another one of the many “outlandish” adventures that I had undertaken throughout my life. In retrospect, however, this was a very special “Yes” to the beginning of my life’s new phase.   Continue reading “The Mago Hedge School: Why Remember Mary Daly? By Helen Hye Sook Hwang”

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