May 14, 2021
The Ethics and Public Policy Center is pleased to announce that Jennifer Bryson, Ph.D., has joined EPPC as a Fellow in EPPC’s Catholic Women’s Forum. Educated at Stanford and Yale, Dr. Bryson has previously directed research projects at the Witherspoon Institute and the Religious Freedom Institute. At EPPC she will focus on translating the works of the Catholic writer Ida Friederike Görres from German to English.
Today’s date has special significance for this announcement. Fifty years ago today, May 14, Ida Friederike Görres collapsed while giving a presentation in defense of the indissolubility of marriage at the Synod of Wurzburg in Germany. She died the next day. During his funeral eulogy for her, then-Fr. Joseph Ratzinger said, “Ida Friederike Görres … spoke with an insightful certainty and a fearlessness about the pressing questions and tasks of the Church today … We give thanks for her writing.”
The core themes of Görres’ prolific writing were sanctity, enlivening the faith of the laity, and bringing Catholic insight to bear on burning social and moral issues of the modern era. Countess Görres, née Coudenhove, was the daughter of a Habsburg empire diplomat and a Japanese mother, who met while her father was stationed in Japan. You can read more about her at idagoerres.org.
“In this age of banishing the wisdom of the past, we need scholars like Jennifer Bryson who will bring to mind the wisdom of those whose voices still speak to our age. Dr. Bryson’s work in our journal and, most recently, her engaging discussion of Görres’s importance on our podcast have been highlights of our year,” said Dr. Dave Deavel, host of Deep Down Things and editor of LOGOS Journal, which both recently featured some of Bryson’s translations by and about Ida Görres.
“The mission of EPPC’s Catholic Women’s Forum – A Voice to the Culture, A Resource for the Church – is a fantastic fit with the work of Ida Görres,” said Dr. Bryson. “I am delighted for this opportunity to help make her wisdom and sharp insights available in English, and to do so as part of EPPC. I have enjoyed working with Ryan Anderson since we met at the Witherspoon Institute over a decade ago. I admire the work of EPPC and look forward to collaborating with Mary Hasson and other EPPC Fellows.”
“Jennifer Bryson is a world-class scholar with a variety of academic strengths and practical expertise, and I’m so glad to be able to bring her to EPPC. Her new project focusing on Ida Friederike Görres will make this essential work accessible to an English-speaking audience that needs to hear it,” said EPPC president Ryan T. Anderson.
Bryson will carry out her work in Austria while in residence at the Pope Benedict XVI Philosophical-Theological Institute, known as Hochschule Heiligenkreuz. She will audit theology courses there and be a Research Fellow at the school’s European Institute for Philosophy and Religion (EUPHRat), led by Dr. Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz.
Dr. Jennifer Bryson learned German in high school in Austria and while studying Marxism-Leninism for a year in the former East Germany as an undergraduate. She earned her B.A. from Stanford in Political Science, her M.A. in medieval European intellectual History from Yale, and her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Yale, where she focused on Greco-Arabic and Islamic studies. Her Ph.D. work included the study of translation theory. She has been an intelligence agent for the Defense Intelligence Agency, including two years as an interrogator at Guantanamo, and worked at several non-profits. Dr. Bryson has written extensively on foreign affairs, sex, marriage, and other issues.