The Future of Women and Gender (and Feminist) Studies in Religion

I am notorious (to myself and family at least) for using email to procrastinate on writing papers. I suppose I will now have to add writing on my blog as one of those tools of procrastination. Nevertheless, one thing I would like to share is this link which takes you to a talk posted on the Harvard Divinity School website. You can actually watch and listen to the talk on Real Player which most computers already have installed and which can be downloaded for free if you don’t have it (go here to download and click on “free download”). About twenty minutes into the talk yours truly speaks for about 10 minutes (or less) about the future of women and gender studies in religion. As is the case with my sermons, I remain relieved that the talk didn’t go badly. If things aren’t disasters, I consider them at least small successes. But it might be that the talk went well, which makes me really excited. I enjoyed doing it.

If you would like to see it, you need to open it in Internet Explorer by clicking on this link or the link above. It does not work in Firefox. While the talk is in “academic-ese” and my talk and the other folks on the panel are speaking to a relatively specialized audience that is familiar with all the people and ideas that we’re talking about, the point of my talk which I get to at the end is that the future of women and gender studies in religion (which I argue should also include feminist studies in religion even if it wasn’t in the title) must take into account “everyday people” and not be what I call “intellectual gymnastics” for the fun and enjoyment of academics. This is a very important point to me in my work in studies and in my work in ministry. We must connected what we study to what people do, how they live, and, in particular, to the problems of suffering and aching in our world. I hope that this will be an ongoing theme on the blog, but today it will just have to be the start of a conversation because I must get to writing my paper, which, incidentally, deals with connecting our life of study to our spiritual life and to the problems and issues of the world.

Enjoy the beautiful spring! Peace, Elizabeth

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