Barbara Reid on Mary Magdalene and the Women Disciples in the Gospel of Luke

On July 21, 2017, Professor Barbara Reid (Catholic Theological Union at Chicago) delivered the lecture for the 9th Annual Mary of Magdala Celebration, at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Continuing Education: “Mary Magdalene and the Women Disciples in the Gospel of Luke”.

Click here for a transcript of this presentation.

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David Tombs on The Rape and Sexual Abuse of Jesus

Professor David Tombs (University of Otago) presented a Public Lecture at the University of Auckland on July 20, 2016 entitled “Acknowledging Jesus as Victim of Sexual Abuse”.

Feminist and womanist theologians have questioned traditional Christian models of atonement that appear to render God complicit in the extreme violence of the cross, likening Jesus’ crucifixion to a form of ‘divine child abuse’. These models of atonement often reinforce unhealthy attitudes towards the acceptance of sexual violence and abuse.

Professor Tomb’s presentation will link the critiques of atonement to recent research on crucifixion, which re-reads the historical and scriptural evidence on Roman crucifixions to suggest that sexual humiliation and sexual violence were prominent features in this event. This will lead to discussion on the theological and ethical relevance of such an understanding of crucifixion, including its significance in light of recent sexual abuse scandals within the church.

The paper may be listened to in mp4 format, with accompanying visuals here, or the mp4 file may be downloaded here.

h/t: Caroline Blyth

“Beyoncé, Black Women, and the Bible”: Nyasha Junior on Womanist Biblical Interpretation

On February 4, 2016, Professor Nyasha Junior (Temple University) delivered a talk at Rowan University College of Humanities and Social Sciences entitled “Beyoncé, Black Women, and the Bible”, which outlines her approach to Womanist Biblical Interpretation. Junior is the author of An Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation (Westminster John Knox, 2015), and her talk is largely based on this book.

African-American women have a complex relationship to feminism, which has often focused on the concerns of affluent, White women. Some African-American women choose to identify themselves and their scholarship as womanist, drawing on Alice Walker’s 1983 definition of the term. Based on her recently published book An Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation (Westminster John Knox 2015), Dr. Nyasha Junior will discuss how scholars use womanist approaches within biblical studies. She will explain how womanist biblical interpretation is related to feminist biblical interpretation and also deeply rooted in the work of previous generations of African-American women interpreters of the Bible.

Amy-Jill Levine on The Carpenter, Gender, and Sexuality: The 42nd Annual Antoinette Brown lecture

Professor Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt Divinity School) delivered the 42nd Annual Antoinette Brown lecture on March 31, 2016, at Benton Chapel, Vanderbilt University Divinity School. The lecture also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality.

Levine’s lecture was entitled “The Carpenter, Gender, and Sexuality: The Use and Abuse of the Gospels in Politics and Piety”. Her lecture looks at what the Bible teaches about rape, adultery, and women’s sexual pleasure. She also discusses the contemporary deployment of the Bible as a weapon: contemporary interpretations of the Bible which result in people dying, such as condemnations of homosexuality and abortion, and domestic abuse. Lastly, she examines the roles and authority of women in the Bible.

The lecture begins at 9:00.

Phyllis Trible on Jacob, Hagar and Sarah

phyllis-trible

Professor Phyllis Trible delivered the 2014 Kellogg Lectures at Episcopal Divinity School, on May 9, 2014. The two lectures are available in audio format, on SoundCloud:

1. Justice for Jacob

2. Justice for Foremothers: Hagar and Sarah

 

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza – Liberating Scripture (2015 Sprunt Lecture Series)

Professor Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza delivered the 2015 Sprunt Lecture Series, titled “Liberating Scripture: Reading against the Grain,” on May 4-6, 2015, at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Lecture 1: “Love the Brotherhood”

Lecture 2: “What is in a Name: Rediscovering our Jewish Ancestors

Lecture 3: “Reading Otherwise – Reading for Liberation”

Discussion session:

Valarie Ziegler – Submission, Sex, and Sinraptors: The Evangelical Adam as Alpha Male in American Popular Culture

Professor Valarie Ziegler delivered a lecture at Trinity University on March 24, 2016 entitled “Submission, Sex, and Sinraptors: The Evangelical Adam as Alpha Male in American Popular Culture.” The lecture was delivered in the 2016 Lennox Series and Seminar at Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas).

From Kentucky’s famed Creation Museum to People Magazine’s obsession with the ever-expanding Duggar clan of 19 Kids and Counting, Christian conservative evangelical institutions are ubiquitous in American popular culture. Eager to recreate American society in the image of Eden, conservative evangelicals have given us eHarmony, princess purity balls, erotic wife spanking, militant fecundity, and a steady stream of illustrated Bibles depicting dinosaurs romping with Adam and Eve – not to mention a succession of spectacular sex scandals. Most people would be hard put to connect these colorful images to Christian devotion. But conservative evangelicals regard the subordination of women to men as central to God’s purpose in creation, and submissive wives and daughters, as well as dinosaurs in Eden, are useful signifiers of men’s primacy over women. This exaltation of male power and privilege not only gives license in the evangelical world to abusive behaviors (think Josh Duggar) but also impacts important levels of social discourse in the larger American culture, from romance to science, from procreation to presidential politics.

 

Adela Yarbro Collins on Scripture and Women in Revelation

carmichael-walling-2015

Professor Adela Yarbro Collins delivered the 29th Carmichael-Walling Lectures at Abilene Christian University on November 12, 2015. Videos of both lectures are available.

The book of Revelation is rich in both Scriptural allusion and symbolic imagery. The first lecture will provide an overview and critical assessment of scholarship on intertextuality in Revelation, highlighting the book’s use of Scripture. The second lecture will consider female symbols in Revelation, particularly focusing on the symbolic woman of Revelation 17 often referred to as “The Whore of Babylon.”

Intertextuality in the Book of Revelation

Women as Symbols in the Book of Revelation

Musa Dube on Translation, Postcolonialism, Globalism

Professor Musa Dube (University of Botswana) delivered three seminars at the 2012 Nida School of Translation Studies, May 20 – June 2, 2012, at the San Pellegrino University Foundation in Misano Adriatico (Rimini), Italy.

Videos from the seminars were made available by Fondazione San Pellegrino.

Session 21 (4 parts)

Session 29 (3 parts)

Session 37 (3 parts)

Musa Dube, a feminist postcolonial biblical scholar has a professorship at University of Botswana and has recently completed two visiting scholar appointments at Union Theological Seminary (NYC) and University of Bamberg (Germany). Dube’s research and publications are extensive, including numerous articles, chapters, and books. Her Postcolonial Feminist Interpretations of the Bible (2000) and The Bible in Africa; Transactions, Trajectories and Trends (co-edited with Gerald West, 2001) are just two examples of her important contributions in the area of biblical studies. Her social engagement is evident from her publications: HIV/AIDS and the Curriculum: Methods of Integrating HIV/AIDS in Theological Education (2003) and Grant Me Justice: HIV/AIDS and Gender Readings of the Bible (2004). More recently, Dube has written and taught on “Politics of Bible Translations: A Postcolonial Feminist Analysis.”

Sexuality and the Bible: What the Texts Really Say

In an event organized by Swissnex San Francisco, Thomas Römer, Sarah Shectman, Konrad Schmid, and Steven McKenzie discussed views on homosexuality and sexuality in the Bible and ancient Near Eastern texts. Sexuality and the Bible: What the Texts Really Say was held on November 17, 2011 at Swissnexx San Francisco, and the video is available on Daily Motion.

What does the Bible tell us of the roles of men and women in ancient society and about the importance of gender? From a literary standpoint, do the texts necessarily condemn or condone certain behaviors and lifestyles? In conjunction with the Annual Conference of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, swissnex San Francisco invites top scholars to discuss the role of sexuality in the Bible and answer some of these questions.

The evening features Thomas Römer, Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Faculty of Theology and History of Religions at the University of Lausanne. His book L’homosexualité dans le Proche Orient ancien et la Bible (Homosexuality in the Ancient Orient), focuses on the Bible as a historical source for analyzing how ancient societies viewed relations between men.

Konrad Schmid, Professor of Old Testament and Early Judaism at the University of Zurich and author of Genesis and the Moses Story: Israel’s Dual Origins in the Hebrew Bible (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2010), presents the Paradise Story in Genesis 2-3 and its view of sexuality and immortality. And Sarah Shectman, author of Women in the Pentateuch: A Feminist and Source-Critical Analysis (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2009), looks at the varied attitudes toward women’s sexuality in different parts of the Bible, such as the laws in the Pentateuch that treat women’s sexuality as a possession, belonging either to a father or husband, versus the freer view in the Song of Songs where the protagonist appears more in control of her own body.  Steven McKenzie moderates the discussion.

 

Elon University Conference on Jewish-Christian Relations

The Elon University Conference on Jewish-Christian Relations was held at Sunday, November 17, 2013, at Numen Lumen Pavilion, Elon University. The presentations are available on YouTube.

1:00 pm: Welcoming Remarks
President Dr. Leo Lambert (Elon University)
Dr. Geoffrey Claussen (Elon University)

1:05-2:00 pm: Reading Genesis
– Dr. Marc Bregman (UNC-Greensboro) – “Jewish and Christian Perspectives on the Sacrifice of Isaac”
– Dr. Ellen Haskell (UNC-Greensboro) – “Contesting the Kingdom of Heaven: Rachel as Counterpart to Christ in Medieval Jewish Mysticism”
– Dr. Malachi Hacohen (Duke University) – “Jacob and Esau, Isaac and Ishmael: The Future of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations”
Convener: Dr. Geoffrey Claussen (Elon University)

2:15-3:00 pm: Defining Jewish Identity
– Dr. Lynn Huber (Elon University) – “‘Those Who Say That They Are Jews and Are Not’: The Function of Jewish Identity in the Book of Revelation”
– Dr. James Tabor (UNC-Charlotte) – “Who is a Jew?: A Modern Conundrum with Ancient Roots”
Convener: Dr. Michael Pregill (Elon University)

3:15-4:15 pm: Evangelical-Jewish Relations
 Dr. Shalom Goldman (Duke University), “The Use of Hebrew and Yiddish by British and American Christian Missionaries to Jews: 1870-1970”
– Dr. Yaakov Ariel (UNC-Chapel Hill) – “The Rise of Messianic Judaism”
– Dr. Motti Inbari (UNC-Pembroke) – “The Christian Zionist Response to Israeli Land for Peace Solutions”
Convener: Dr. Jason Husser (Elon University)

4:30-5:15 pm: Jewish and Christian Feminist Ritual Innovation
 Dr. Vanessa Ochs (University of Virginia)
– Dr. Diann Neu (Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual)
Convener: Dr. Toddie Peters (Elon University)

5:30-6:30 pm: The Future of Jewish-Christian Dialogue
– 
Dr. Stanley Hauerwas (Duke University)
– Dr. Peter Ochs (University of Virginia)
Convener: Dr. Jeffrey Pugh (Elon University)

Closing Remarks: Dr. Jeffrey Pugh (Elon University)

David J.A. Clines: The scandal of a male bible

Professor David J.A. Clines delivered the 2015 Ethel M. Wood lecture at King’s College, London on February 24. Clines speaks on the male values within the Bible and the failure of readers to recognize those values. A video of the lecture is available here:

A copy of the paper is available on Academia.edu.

Being a male text, the Bible inevitably enshrines and perpetuates male power, which makes it a problematic text for anyone in the modern world who has some sense of the social injustice of gender inequality. And the scandal of a male Bible, in the second place, is that the Bible’s masculinity is for the most part invisible, hardly ever noticed or mentioned, even in our world that is much more egalitarian than that of the Bible.

Benjamin Dunning on Universalism in the Philosopher’s Paul and Sexual Difference

dunning

Professor Benjamin Dunning presents a lecture on Paul’s universalism, the embodied human, and recent philosophical engagement with Paul by figures such as Stanislas Breton, Giorgio AgambenAlain Badiou, and Slavoj Žižek. The lecture is entitled “Christ Without Adam: Subjectivity and Sexual Difference in the Philosopher’s Paul”, and is based on his 2014 book of the same title.

Benjamin Dunning discusses his book, Christ Without Adam: Subjectivity and Sexual Difference in the Philosopher’s Paul. Trained in early Christianity as well as critical and feminist theory, Professor Dunning is especially interested in furthering the conversation between the history of Christianity, philosophical theology, and contemporary theories of the subject.

Religion and the Feminist Movement Conference

Videos are available from the Religion and the Feminist Movement Conference, held at Harvard Divinity School on November 1-3, 2002. The conference included addresses from two notable biblical scholars, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Rosemary Radford Ruether, reflecting on the feminist movement:

 

 

 

Program

Introduction

  • Ann Braude, Director, Women’s Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School

Welcome

  • William A. Graham, Dean of Harvard Divinity School

Panel I: Religion and “the Movement”

  • Charlotte Bunch, President, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University (video)
  • Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Co-founder, Ms. magazine (video)
  • Roberta Hestenes, minister-at-large, World Vision (video)
  • Azizah al-Hibri, President, Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights (video)
  • Moderator: Ann Braude, Harvard Divinity School

Panel II: Feminist Theology

  • Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Harvard Divinity School (video)
  • Judith Plaskow, Manhattan College (video)
  • Carol P. Christ, Ariadne Institute (video)
  • Moderator: Leila Ahmed, Harvard Divinity School

Mary Daly and the Exodus from Patriarchal Religion

  • Introduction: Mary Hunt, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual
  • Speaker: Mary Daly

Panel III: Feminist Theology II

  • Rosemary Radford Ruether, Garret-Evangelical Theological Seminary (video)
  • Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, Drew Theological School (video)
  • Virginia Mollenkott, Founder, Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus (video)
  • Riffat Hassan, University of Louisville (video)
  • Moderator: Sarah Coakley, Harvard Divinity School

Panel IV: Women Clergy

  • Addie Wyatt (Church of God) (video)
  • Jeanne Audrey Powers (United Methodist Church) (video)
  • Delores S. Williams, Union Theological Seminary (video)
  • Betty Bone Schiess (Episcopal Church, USA) (video)
  • Moderator: Claudia Highbaugh, Chaplain, Harvard Divinity School

Religion and the Creation of Feminist Consciousness

  • Gerda Lerner, University of Wisconsin

Panel V: Outsiders Within

  • Vicki Noble, Co-creator, Motherpeace Tarot (video)
  • Lois Wilson, Senator for Human Rights, Ontario, Canada (video)
  • Margaret Toscano, founder, Mormon Women’s Forum (video)
  • Letty Russell, Yale Divinity School (video)
  • Moderator: Diana L. Eck, Harvard University

Panel VI: Women’s Organizations

  • Nadine Foley, O.P., coordinator, first Women’s Ordination Conference (video)
  • Blu Greenberg, President, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (video)
  • Donna Quinn, O.P., cofounder, Women-Church Convergence (video)
  • Moderator: Nancy Richardson, Harvard Divinity School

Closing Discussion

  • Clarissa Atkinson, Harvard Divinity School, and all conference panelists
  • Moderator: Bernadette Brooten, Brandeis University

Nili Sacher Fox on Biblical Laws concerning Israelite Dress

nili-fox

On March 1, 2012, Professor Nili Sacher Fox, of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, speaking as part of the “Matter of Israelite Religion” lecture series, delivered the lecture “Fashion vs. Ideology: Biblical Laws Pertaining to Israelite Dress” at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

The lecture is available in mp3 audio format.