Date of Award

Spring 1996

Document Type




First Advisor

John Hart

Second Advisor

Annette Moran

Third Advisor

Ed Noonan


At the close of the twentieth century, still the virtual advent of the AIDS epidemic, more and more women are discovering solace and a place of peace within their own unique sense of spirituality; after finding that the world is not ready to help them, they are finding the help and strength they both need and deserve, in God. Ironically, for many of these women who began as prostitutes and drug addicts, who were involved in sexually abusive or co-dependent relationships, or who, due to their cultural background have an already marginalized status, AIDS has given them a way out. They have found new hope and freedom in life amidst the societal repression and discrimination that comes with AIDS. Ironic, too, is the fact that despite the negative feedback and lack of support from mainstream religious groups, it is the AIDS pandemic which has brought many women a spiritual awakening - it has brought them closer to God and thus strengthened and enriched their spirituality.