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AAR/SBL Women's Caucus: Fall 2014 Update

Welcome from the Editor 

Hello from the Women's Caucus! If you are a female scholar, we are interested in sharing information and promoting your work.

Please be sure to come see us at the AAR/SBL Annual meeting. The Women's Caucus will meet in #WCSBLAAR14. We hope to see you there! Stay connected between meetings on Facebook and Twitter.

In this issue:
  • Events of interest to female scholars
  • AAR/SBL Annual Meeting updates
  • What She Wrote: research and writing by female scholars

Meet our team, and you’ll understand how diverse we are in interests, education, work, and connections! We’re pleased to welcome your input or contributions @editor: Rosemarie Kowalski, PhD



regional, national, and international
 meetings of interest to female scholars

Annual AAR SBL Conference 2014    
Annual Meeting of the AAR and SBL is in San Diego, CA November 22-24, 2014.
All caucus sessions held in Convention Center-14A
The theme of the Women’s Caucus is Cultivating and Growing the Field.

The field of Gender and Religion continues to evolve and grow. The 2014 Women's Caucus will honor the roots of the movement while cultivating new directions, themes, and the global impact of feminist scholarship. In addition to the sessions, we are working to preserve the archives of this historic organization and supporting efforts to film and record leading figureheads of feminist theologies.  More information on sessions and presenters.

Feminist Liberation Theologians’ Network
Friday, November 21, 2014, 4-6 PM, San Diego, CA @ AAR/SBL Annual Meeting
Marriott Marquis-Catalina

The Network will discuss teaching that engages gender-based violence as feminist liberation theological praxis. Speakers include: Solveig Anna Boasdottir, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Iceland; Marie M. Fortune, FaithTrust Institute; Elizabeth Siwo-Okundi, Boston University School of Theology; Traci West, Drew University Theological School. Discussion and strategizing will follow their short presentations. All are welcome. RSVP: Mary E. Hunt, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER), 301 589-2509,; Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Harvard Divinity School,

This year the Women’s Caucus and the FLTN will collaborate to amplify colleagues’ voices on this important topic. The Caucus will hold a session entitled “Weeding and Seeding: The Role of the Scholar in Gender-based Violence and Activism” on Saturday, November 22, 2014 from 9-11:30 AM in the Women’s Lounge. Several of their presenters will participate in our meeting in order to share some of the fruits of our conversation. Likewise, Marie Fortune and  Mary E. Hunt plan to be at their gathering to learn and strategize. This is an exciting next step for FLTN, which has long been concerned with concrete articulation of our commitments in teaching, research, and action. You are more than welcome to attend the Caucus session as well as the FLTN event.

2014 Women's Mentoring Luncheon @ AAR/SBL
Committees on the Status of Women in the Profession and the Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Women's Mentoring Lunch 
Sunday, November 23
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Convention Center-6D

The Status of Women in the Profession Committee, the Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Committee and the Women's Caucus invite women who are graduate students and new scholars to a luncheon with over thirty womanist, feminist, and LGBTIQ, mid-career, and senior scholars. Women will have the opportunity to mentor and be mentored in a context where every question is valued. You can see a list of confirmed mentors on the AAR web site.

The luncheon costs $13 per person (nonrefundable), payable at time of registration. 

The Status of Women in the Profession Committee is proud to announce an updated edition of A Guide for Women in Religion: Making Your Way from A to Z will be released at the Annual Meeting. Palgrave, the publisher, has offered a deep discount on the book to mentoring lunch registrants if purchased at the same time as pre-registration; you can pick up the book at the luncheon. You may purchase the book for only $15 if you pay for it with your lunch registration (total of $28 for lunch and book). Register here. 

 What She Wrote:

research and writing by female scholars

Please feel free to contact the authors or to request help from caucus participants for your own scholarship. We are willing to share your in-process research, project topics, and links to your surveys and research collection.

State University of New York Press, $80
A study of four congregations---Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Catholic---that worship God with female imagery.

Many Christians do not know the Bible contains female images of God because they have never heard nor seen them in church. In Women, Ritual, and Power, Elizabeth Ursic gives the reader insight into four Christian communities that worship God with female imagery, both as a worship focus and a community identity. These Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Catholic congregations operate within their established church denominations and are led by either ordained Protestant ministers or vowed Catholic sisters. Because expressing God-as-She can expose strident claims for maintaining God-as-He, this book shows not only how patriarchy continues to operate in churches today, but also how it is being successfully challenged through liturgy.

“Women, Ritual, and Power is an important contribution to the theological world. Elizabeth Ursic sheds light on what has enabled churches to include female images for the divine and provides multiple narratives of the negative reactions to such images. As she displays how gender is understood in Christian worship with evidence that some churches do include feminist imagery, the continuing presence of patriarchy is also revealed. The book is basically about the constructive function of the inclusion of feminine images for all. One of the main reasons we need this book is that Ursic perceives there is a much wider/larger group of Christians who would love to have more feminist images than is recognized in churches and church practices.” — Mary McClintock Fulkerson, author of Changing the Subject: Women’s Discourses and Feminist Theology

Elizabeth Ursic is Professor of Religious Studies at Mesa Community College.

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Feminist reconstruction of biography and text by Theresa A. Yugar
Theresa A. Yugar, Ph.D., is an alumna of Claremont Graduate University and Harvard Divinity School in the discipline of Women’s Studies in Religion. She is a Latina feminist liberation theologian whose research interest is Gender and Colonial Latin American History. She is the author of a “U.S. Latina Feminist Paradigm: Model of an Inclusive Twenty-first Century Ecclesiology," Reimagining with Christian Doctrines: Responding to Global Gender Injustices (Palgrave, 2014).
Forthcoming, November 2014 from Wipf and Stock.

The Faith Lives of Women and Girls
Edited by Nicola Slee, The Queen's Foundation, Birmingham, UK, Fran Porter and Anne Phillips, Northern Baptist College, Manchester, UK

Identifying, illuminating and enhancing understanding of key aspects of women and girls' faith lives, The Faith Lives of Women and Girls represents a significant body of original qualitative research from practitioners and researchers across the UK. Contributors include new and upcoming researchers as well as more established feminist practical theologians. Chapters provide perspectives on different ages and stages of faith across the life cycle, from a range of different cultural and religious contexts. 

Diverse spiritual practices, beliefs and attachments are explored, including a variety of experiences of liminality in women’s faith lives. A range of approaches - ethnographic, oral history, action research, interview studies, case studies and documentary analysis - combine to offer a deeper understanding of women’s and girls' faith lives. As well as being of interest to researchers, this book presents resources to enhance ministry to and with women and girls in a variety of settings.

Public Theology and the Challenge of Feminism (Gender, Theology and Spirituality) Edited by Anita Monro & Stephen Burns

Public Theology is a rapidly growing international field of study which focuses on how Christian belief and practice engage with wider social issues. Yet, whilst the ultimate concern of public theology is the well-being of society, this body of theology has largely developed without integrating the thinking of feminist theology and its insights into womens' lives and experience. 

Public Theology and the Challenge of Feminism argues that public theology risks re-inscribing traditional constructs of public and private, civic and domestic, and uncritical notions of gender and the work and worth of people. The book brings together both theory and case material to expose how public theology has actively downplayed or ignored feminist perspectives and to reveal how constructive feminism can be for the future of public theology.

Anita Monro is Principal of Grace College in the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Stephen Burns is Associate Professor of Liturgical Theology and the Study of Anglicanism at Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

A Guide for Women in Religion: Making Your Way from A to Z Edited by Mary E. Hunt

Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D., is a feminist theologian who is co-founder and co-director of the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. A Catholic active in the women-church movement, she lectures and writes on theology and ethics with particular attention to liberation issues. She is the editor of A Guide for Women in Religion: Making Your Way from A to Z (Palgrave, 2004, 2014) and co-editor with Diann L. Neu of New Feminist Christianity: Many Voices, Many Views (SkyLight Paths, 2010).

The Guide for Women in Religion is an indispensable resource for everyone from undergraduate students to emeritae professors involved in the field of religion. In the tradition of a Guide to the Perplexing: A Survival Manual for Women in Religious Studies that helped a generation of women break barriers, this work reflects the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-disciplinary nature of the field. It is designed to encourage creative, collaborative approaches, and to help women avoid being co-opted. Writers presume that teaching is but one career option with publishing, the non-profit sector, work in religious institutions and the like all good choices for which training in religious studies is useful. They offer guidance on how to handle graduate school, dissertation writing, job interviews, promotions, health care, retirement, on-line teaching, resumes, publications and much more. This guide is not for women only. Supportive male colleagues, hiring committees and departments will also want a copy for ready reference.

Find more information, tools, and ideas to help you at our website. We hope to see you later this month at the annual conference. Please drop by to say hello and meet other female scholars!

Meet our team, and you’ll understand how diverse we are in interests, education, work, and connections! We’re pleased to welcome your input or contributions @editor: Rosemarie Kowalski, PhD
Copyright © 2014 WOMEN'S CAUCUS AAR/SBL, All rights reserved.

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