Rosaria Champagne Butterfield is a remarkable woman with a diverse background that has shaped her into the person she is today. Born in 1962, she has had a multifaceted career as a writer, speaker, and homemaker. Notably, she served as a tenured professor of English at Syracuse University.
Who is Rosaria Champagne Butterfield?
Rosaria Butterfield’s academic journey started with a Ph.D. in English Literature from Ohio State University. She later joined Syracuse University’s English Department and Women’s Studies Program in 1992.
During her tenure, she published notable works such as “The Politics of Survivorship: Incest, Women’s Literature, and Feminist Theory,” along with numerous scholarly articles.
Her research interests focused on feminist theory, queer theory, and 19th-century British literature. In 1999, the same year she received tenure, she experienced a profound transformation that changed the course of her life.
The transformation: Journey into Faith
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield’s autobiography, “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into the Christian Faith,” sheds light on her remarkable transformation. Previously, she lived openly as a lesbian activist. However, during her research on the Religious Right and their attitudes toward the queer community, she received an invitation to dinner from Pastor Ken Smith of the Syracuse Reformed Presbyterian Church. Their friendship led to a reassessment of her beliefs and presuppositions. After two years of contemplation, she embraced evangelical Christianity and her life took a new direction.
Embracing Christian hospitality
In her writings and interviews, Rosaria emphasizes the importance of “radically ordinary” Christian hospitality. To her, hospitality is at the core of the Christian faith, surpassing mere entertainment. In a post-Christian world, she calls Christians to set their boundaries according to the blood of Christ, demonstrating Christ-like love and compassion to strangers. Her book “The Gospel Comes with a House Key” expounds on the idea that genuine hospitality requires letting go of consumerism and sexual autonomy to make space for others.
The significance of repentance
Rosaria Butterfield’s emphasis on repentance is another hallmark of her writing. Drawing inspiration from Puritans like Thomas Watson and John Owen, she highlights that repentance is not about despair but about drawing nearer to Christ daily. True repentance requires intimacy with God and a willingness to submit to Jesus, recognizing our need for His grace. She emphasizes that sexual sin often leads to sin of identity, and Christians must root out sin from their lives, relying on Christ’s transformative power.
Views on sexuality and identity
As a former scholar of Freud, Rosaria challenges the concept of sexual orientation as a 19th-century invention and a category mistake. She believes that while same-sex attraction might be how someone feels, it should not define their inherent identity.
She criticizes conversion therapy for prioritizing heterosexuality over the transformative power of Christ’s grace. However, she also emphasizes the responsibility of the Church to support believers struggling with unchosen homosexual desires, providing a family atmosphere without compromising biblical truth.
Rosaria Butterfield Husband
Rosaria Butterfield is married to Kent Butterfield, they have two children, there is very little information on her personal life and family.