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Resources and the Women's Caucus call for papers
for 2017 Annual Conference of AAR/SBL
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See you at the AAR/SBL Annual Conference
in Boston, November 18-21, 2017

Conference Theme: Religion and the Most Vulnerable

Don't miss your Women's Caucus Conference Sessions!
Details at our website: http://womenscaucusaar.wixsite.com/womenscaucusaarsbl

This winter issue includes:
1. Meet the leadership team of the AAR/SBL Women's Caucus
2. The call for papers
3. She Reads: resources and reviews
Access more resources and information at our website.

1. Have you met your leadership team?(click here)
2. Women's Caucus Call for Papers:
We are currently accepting 1-page proposals for papers / participation at our sessions

Proposal deadline March 1, 2017 (11:59pm)
Submit your proposal to: Aar.sbl.womens.caucus@gmail.com
For topic details, proposal guidelines, and presentation requirements, click here.

TOPICS
Session 1: Rethinking Resistance and Resilience
Session 2 Emerging Scholars: Thinking about Vulnerability Intergenerationally
Session 3 Publishing Panel: Fresh Perspectives on Gender, Race, and Social Justice Issues
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PROPOSAL GUIDELINES
We are currently accepting 1-page proposals for consideration our sessions at the AAR/SBL Annual Conference in Boston, November 18-21, 2017.
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:
Please provide the following information:
  • Individual paper title
  • Individual paper abstracts (250 words) Visual presentations: include a picture
  • Name, University, and Affiliation
  • Phone Number and Email Address
  • Please label the attachment with your name and session you are applying for.
  • Email subject line: 2017 Paper Proposal - Session # & name: Paper Title
  • Submit up to two proposals for the Women’s Caucus 2017 sessions.
 
PRESENTATION REQUIREMENTS
  • AAR/SBL members and pre-registered for the conference by July 2017.
  • 10-15 minutes in length.
  • Notice of acceptance/ rejection: first week of April 2017. If accepted, your paper will not count towards the maximum paper limit for the AAR or SBL.
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Godesses and God3. She Reads
*Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theologyby Carol P Christ and Judith Plaskow
Review by Rev Dr Patricia ‘Iolana
 
In Goddess and God in the World, two foremothers of feminist theology and thealogy offer their embodied experiences of the Divine from differing perspectives: Christ as a post-Christian Goddess Thealogian and Plaskow as a radical Jewish feminist theologian. And while this is a work of feminist theology/thealogy it is also a beautiful reflection on the power of Interfaith dialogue. (Read more - INSERT LINK TO CAUCUS WEBSITE)
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Christ and Plaskow write: "We began working on this book because—although we agree about many things—we disagree about the nature of Goddess and God. After working together for decades, we found it quite a shock to come face-to- face with a difference on such a major theological issue as the nature of divinity." (xiii)
 
Their dialogue is unique, as is its format. As a hybrid combination of ‘theological autobiography’ and ‘rigorous philosophical, theological, and ethical reflection,’ this book is what Christ and Plaskow call an ‘experiment in embodied theology that seeks to both demonstrate the connection of theology to experience and to show the complexity of the relationship between them.’ (xv)
 
While Christ and Plaskow wrote their own stories and chapters in Goddess and God in the World, they collaborated on chapter three ‘God in the History of Theology’ and chapter six ‘Feminist Theology at the Center.’
 
Their stories are enlightening and historic. Christ and Plaskow speak about how they both started out as theological scholars in a time when women were still unwelcome in divinity schools. Goddess and God in the World chronicles their individual and collective journeys based on mutual respect and love for one another. They speak strongly of supporting each other’s work, research, and ideas even though they may not agree on them. This is the beauty at the heart of this book—collaboration, love, support, and a mutually-respectful dialogue. This sentiment is reiterated in Christ’s chapter on
Divine Power where she writes: ‘I doubt that either of us would be building theologies on personal experiences if our experiences had not been affirmed by others, particularly by other women, in communities.’ (195)
 
Christ and I have spoken on several occasions about the seeming lack of support within the early feminist community and continuing today. This lack of support for each other’s
work has frustrated us both greatly. We have both witnessed the infighting, critical attacks, and exclusionary tactics used against fellow female scholars in theology and religious studies (although it’s certainly not limited to this academic field.) In Goddess and God in the World, Christ and Plaskow step out of this critical and harmful light to, instead, be the voice of support, encouragement, and love. Standing against the divisiveness that is often found in feminist theology, this book stands as a testament to mutually-respectful dialogue about the Divine from divergent perspectives.
 
Their autobiographical journey speaks of the roads not often taken and how their individual and collective experiences within their respective faith traditions are not ‘normative,’ but rather the exception to the rule. And while Christ has been encouraging women to share their stories for decades (a call began in 1979), Christ and Plaskow echo this sentiment again in Goddess and God in the World. In chapter six, Christ and Plaskow write: ‘we […] hope that what we share will resonate with the experiences of others in different situations inspiring them to think and write from their own embodied and embedded perspectives. (138)
 
There is common ground between Christ and Plaskow that serves as a guiding light for
contemporary feminist religious scholars. Through their conversations, Christ and Plaskow discover that they both reject written traditions and construct their individual beliefs through ‘personal experiences and the insights of others.’ (194) These personal experiences are the heart of their embodied theologies, and stand as critical emerging locus theologicus (or place for theology/thealogy) that is vital to contemporary religious scholars. As increasingly more adherents of contemporary faith traditions seem to reject archaic and unchanging theologies in favour of personal experience, embodied theology and thealogy will continue to be a growing field in religious studies research and publication.
 
The critical, explorative, supportive, and embodied feminist ideas contained with Goddess and God in the World offer not only the story of how two foremothers of feminist theology came to stand in this time and place, but also exemplify how an interfaith dialogue can proceed with respect and love despite differences. It is a must-read not only for feminist scholars in religion but also for interfaith scholars as an exemplary interfaith dialogue. Write on, sisters. Write on.
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Homosexuality, the Bible, and the Church*Two views on Homosexuality, the Bible, and the Church by P Sprinkle, W Loader, MK DeFanza, et al. Unique among most debates on homosexuality, this book presents a constructive dialogue between people who disagree on significant ethical and theological matters, and yet maintain a respectful and humanizing posture toward one another. Even as these scholars articulate pointed arguments for their position with academic rigor and depth, they do so cordially, clearly, and compassionately, without demeaning the other.

One of two affirming views comes from Megan K. DeFranza, who received her PhD from Marquette University, Wisconsin, and is the author of the recently published, Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female, and Intersex in the Image of God (Eerdmans, 2015).

Women's wisdom*Wisdom's Feast: An Invitation to Feminist Interpretation of the Scriptures by Barbara E. Reid An invitation to the feast of wisdom (Prov. 9), drawing on women's wisdom to offer fresh interpretations of biblical texts to promote equal dignity and value for women and men alike.

My body*This is My Body: Hearing the Theology of Transgender Christians by Christina Beardsley. Much has been said and written about trans people by theologians and Church leaders, while little has been heard from trans Christians themselves. As a step towards redressing the balance, This Is My Body offers a grounded reflection on people's experience of gender dissonance that involves negotiating the boundaries between one's identity and religious faith, as well as a review of the most up-to-date theological, cultural and scientific literature.

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The book has been compiled and edited by Christina Beardsley, a priest and hospital chaplain, writer and activist for trans inclusion in the Church, and Michelle O'Brien, who has been involved in advocacy, research, lecturing and writing about intersex and trans issues. It includes contributions from many people associated with the Sibyls, the UK-based confidential spirituality group for transgender people and their allies.

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Religion, Gender and Citizenship*Religion, Gender and Citizenship: Women of Faith, Gender Equality and Feminism by Line Nyhagen and Beatrice Halsaa Through interviews with Christian and Muslim women in Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom, this book explores intersections between religion, citizenship, gender and feminism. How do religious women think about citizenship, and how do they practice citizenship in everyday life? How important is faith in their lives, and how is religion bound up with other identities such as gender and nationality? What are their views on 'gender equality', women's movements and feminism? The answers offered by this book are complex.
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Religion can be viewed as both a resource and a barrier to women's participation. The interviewed women talk about citizenship in terms of participation, belonging, love, care, tolerance and respect. Some seek gender equality within their religious communities, while others accept different roles and spaces for women. 'Natural' differences between women and men and their equal value are emphasized more than equal rights. Women's movements are viewed as having made positive contributions to women's status, but interviewees are also critical of claims related to abortion and divorce, and of feminism's allegedly selfish, unwomanly, anti-men and power-seeking stance. In the interviews, Christian privilege is largely invisible and silenced, while Muslim disadvantage is both visible and articulated. Line Nyhagen and Beatrice Halsaa unpack and make sense of these findings, discussing potential implications for the relationship between religion, gender and feminism.
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We hope to see you at the Women's Caucus Sessions of the AAR/SBL Conference in Boston! Please contact us if you need more information or have resources that might be helpful to our members.
Copyright © 2017 AAR/SBL Women's Caucus, All rights reserved.


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