Weekly outline

  • Course Description

    In this course, students explore the combination of feminism and religion.  Students will be introduced to feminist engagement within religion, religious studies and th(e/a)ology, focusing on six major religious traditions (Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, the Goddess Movement (sometimes called feminist spirituality), and Hinduism).  This course pays special attention to three main areas of feminist engagement with religion: the feminist critique of religion; feminist methodology; and feminist reconstructive the(a/o)logy. Key concepts considered time and again throughout the duration of the course are patriarchy, sex, gender, images of the divine, leadership roles, rituals, sacred texts, power and authority, feminism, and religion. 

  • Introduction to Gender and Religion

    5 October 2020

    Distribute syllabus & intro to material.

    In-Class Readings:

    Judith Plaskow, “The Coming of Lillith,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Spring, 2007), pp. 34-41.

    Zuzana Budapest, “Self-Blessing Ritual,” in The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries, (Oakland:  Susan B. Anthony Coven No. 1, 1986).

     

  • Introduction to Theory: Week 1

    12 October 2020

    In-Class Reading:

    joanne stato, “Cultural Appropriation,” Off Our Backs, Vol. 21, No. 9 (october 1991), pp. 20-21. 

    Reading:

    Rita M. Gross, Feminism and Religion: An Introduction, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996). Ch. 2 and 4.

    Recommended Reading:

    Rita M. Gross, Feminism and Religion: An Introduction, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996). Ch. 1.

  • Introduction to Theory: Week 2

    19  October 2020

    Reading:

    Rita M. Gross, Feminism and Religion: An Introduction, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996). Ch. 5 - 6. 

    Recommended Reading:

    Rita M. Gross, Feminism and Religion: An Introduction, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996). Ch. 3.

  • Introduction to Theory: “Reform”ing Religion

    26  October 2020

    Reading:

    Judith G. Martin, “Why Women Need a Feminist Spirituality,” in Women's Studies Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 1/2, Spirituality and Religions (Spring/Summer, 1993), pp. 106-120.

  • Introduction to Theory: “Revolution”izing Religion

    2 November 2020

    Reading:

    Carol P. Christ, “Why Women Need the Goddess,” in Laughter of Aphrodite: Reflections on a Journey to the Goddess (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987) pp. 117-132.  

    • The grading scale for this assignment is as follows:

      1 - 100-85

      2 - 84-70

      3 - 69-55

      4 - 54 and under.

      1, 2, and 3 are passing grades; 4 is not.  If I have included a note in the comments section of your paper to please meet with me, please email me to schedule a meeting.

  • Exploring Traditions, Week 1: Islam

    9 November 2020

    Readings:

    Amira El-Azhary Sonbol, “Rethinking Women and Islam,” in Daughters of Abraham: Feminist Thought in Judaism, Christanity, and Islam, edited by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and John L. Esposito, (University of Florida Press, 2001), pp. 108-146.

    Fatima Seedat, “Islam, Feminism, and Islamic Feminism: Between Inadequacy and Inevitability,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Fall 2013), pp. 25-45.

  • Exploring Traditions, Week 2: Buddhism

    16 November 2020

    Readings:

    Cathryn Bailey, “Embracing the Icon: The Feminist Potential of the Trans Bodhisattva, Kuan Yin,” Hypatia, Vol. 24, No. 3, (Summer, 2009), pp. 178-196.

    Rita M. Gross, “The Suffering of Sexism: Buddhist Perspectives and Experiences,” Buddhist-Christian Studies, Vol. 34 (2014), pp. 69-81. 

  • Exploring Traditions, Week 3: Christianity

    23 November 2020

    Readings:

    Mary E. Hunt, “Women-Church: Feminist Concept, Religious Commitment, Women's Movement,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Vol. 25, No. 1, (Spring 2009), pp. 85-98.

    Rosemary Radford Reuther, “Christian Feminist Theology: History and Future,” in Daughters of Abraham: Feminist Thought in Judaism, Christanity, and Islam, edited by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and John L. Esposito, University of Florida Press, 2001, pp. 65-80.   

    Recommended Reading:

    Rosemary Radford Ruether, “Dualism and the Nature of Evil in Feminist Theology,” Studies in Christian Ethics, 5 no 1 (April 1992), p 26-39. 

  • Exploring Traditions, Week 4: Feminist Spirituality

    30 November 2020

    Readings:

    Cynthia Eller, “Relativizing the Patriarchy: The Sacred History of the Feminist Spirituality Movement,” History of Religions, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Feb., 1991), pp. 279-295.

    Carol P. Christ, “Why Women, Men and Other Living Things Still Need the Goddess: Remembering and Reflecting 35 Years Later,” Feminist Theology, Vol. 20, No.3, (2012), pp. 242-255.

  • Exploring Traditions, Week 5: Judaism

    7 December 2020

    Readings:

    Leila Gal Berner, “Hearing Hannah’s Voice: The Jewish Feminist Challenge and Ritual Innovation,” in Daughters of Abraham: Feminist Thought in Judaism, Christanity, and Islam, edited by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and John L. Esposito, University of Florida Press, 2001, pp. 35-49.

    Marcia Falk, “Notes on Composing New Blessings toward a Feminist-Jewish Reconstruction of Prayer,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Spring, 1987), pp. 39-53.

  • Exploring Traditions, Week 6: Hinduism

    14 December 2020

    Readings:

    Vrinda Dalmiya, “Loving Paradoxes: A Feminist Reclamation of the Goddess Kali,” Hypatia, Vol. 15, No. 1 (Winter, 2000), pp. 125-150.

    Sharada Sugirtharajah, “Hinduism and Feminism: Some Concerns,”  Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Fall, 2002), pp. 97-104.

  • 6 Jan 2021

    Since we have no make-up material or class content to discuss, we will not meet this week.  Use this time instead to work on your assignment.

  • 13 January 2021