Panula Chair in Christian Culture at CIC
Mary Eberstadt is an American writer whose contributions to the intellectual landscape traverse several genres. An author of both non-fiction and fiction, her social commentary draws from various fields including anthropology, intellectual history, philosophy, popular culture, sociology, and theology. She is known for her public service and is a sought after public speaker. Central to her diverse interests are questions concerning the philosophy and culture of Western civilization and the fate and aspirations of post-modern man.
Mrs. Eberstadt is the author of several influential books, among them
- How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization
- It’s Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies
- Adam and Eve after the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution.
She is also author of The Last Homily: Conversations with Fr. Arne Panula, a book of her last conversations with a fabled spiritual leader and former head of the Catholic Information Center.
In August, 2019, Templeton Press published her latest work, Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics. https://www.templetonpress.org/books/primal-screams. It includes commentaries by Rod Dreher, Mark Lilla, and Peter Thiel.
Mrs. Eberstadt’s contributions to journalism range from short essays and reviews in mainstream venues like the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and TIME to longer pieces in journals of ideas such as First Things and National Affairs. She has served on the editorial staffs of three magazines for which she has also written, The Public Interest, The National Interest, and Policy Review.
Mrs. Eberstadt’s books and essays been translated variously into Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Arabic, Dutch, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Hungarian, and Turkish.
Mrs. Eberstadt’s public service includes two years on the U.S. State Department’s Policy Planning Staff during the Reagan administration, where she was speechwriter to Secretary of State George Shultz. She also served as a speechwriter to the Hon. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
She is engaged with several non-profit and charitable groups, including The Merry Beggars, an association of Catholic artists creating transformative theater; Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Togo, Africa, led by Rev. William Ryan; the Catholic Information Center; and Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC.
During the 1980s and into the 1990s, she was a Trustee of Telluride Association, and spent five years on its Board of Custodians. From 2001-2003, she served on the Academic Board of Advisors to the Templeton Foundation.
In 2011, interested in the idea of establishing a literary network for women, she founded The Kirkpatrick Society, an association that has gone on to mentor hundreds of writers.
Mrs. Eberstadt has received awards and honors for her work, including appointments with various associations and think tanks. In 2016, she became a senior research fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. In January, 2021, she was appointed a Distinguished Fellow of the PM Glynn Institute at Australian Catholic University.
Mary Eberstadt is frequently invited to speak to professional and private associations. She has delivered addresses at dozens of campuses in the United States and elsewhere, including Yale University, Princeton University, Duke University, New York University, Catholic University of America, Hillsdale College, Franciscan University, Sapienza University of Rome, and others.
She teaches during the summer at the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society in Krakow, Poland; and during the academic year at the Leonine Forum, a course for young professionals hosted by the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C.
Her 2010 epistolary novel The Loser Letters, about a young woman in rehab torn between theism and atheism, was adapted for stage by playwright Jeffrey Fiske and premiered at the Catholic University of America’s Hartke Theater in fall 2016.
Mary Eberstadt graduated from Cornell University magna cum laude with a double major in philosophy and government. She was a four-year Telluride Scholar, and worked throughout her undergraduate years as a special assistant in Cornell’s philosophy department.
In 2014, Seton Hall University awarded her an honorary doctorate in humane letters, and featured her as its Commencement Speaker.
Updates and more about her work can be found on her website, maryeberstadt.com