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Gender does not concern you because you are male? Do you have trouble talking about the place of gender within the Church because you think the discussion.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender does not concern you because you are male? Do you have trouble talking about the place of gender within the Church because you think the discussion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender does not concern you because you are male? Do you have trouble talking about the place of gender within the Church because you think the discussion is closed?

2 Centre for Women ’ s Studies Theology Faculty of Theology K.U.Leuven

3 Some questions … 1. Feminist Theology: a marginal phenomenon? 2. Women at the university? 3. Women at the altar? 4. Is God a man or a woman? 5a. Are women frustrated menhaters? 5b. Are men afraid of feminists? 6. Women in the Bible: victims or heroes? 7. The Centre: who, what and how?

4 1. Feminist Theology: a marginal phenomenon?  The Centre stimulates research in theology and religious studies by, for and about women.  It animates the debate about gender in religion and theology.  It brings theological expertise from women to Leuven by inviting foreign female reseachers for symposia and lectures.

5 1.Feminist Theology: a marginal phenomenon? Example: Prof. Marcella Althaus –Reid From Feminist to Indecent Theology  “Indecent Theology is a project on theology and sexuality which arises from Latin American Liberation Theology. Its aim is to continue with the method of 'doing theology' or 'action-reflection-action’.”  “Its starting point is a suspicion on the ideological use of traditional understandings of the category of Decencia/Indecencia (Decency/Indecency) in the Latin American cultures.”

6 1. Feminist Theology: a marginal phenomenon? Example: Prof. Ellen T. Armour Beyond the God/man duo: Globalisation, Feminist Theology and Religious Subjectivity  Prof. Armour asks how a feminist perspective on religious subjectivity can break with traditional patriarchal traditions.

7 2. Women at the University?  The Centre pays attention to specific problems of female students and staff members of the Faculty of Theology.  It seeks to support and encourage existing networks of women at a university level.  It stimulates the use of inclusive language in communication within the Faculty, in courses, theses and publications.

8 2. Women at the University? “Real equality between men and women can only be achieved when a mediocre woman will obtain a top function” (Françoise Giroud) Only 6.6% of the professors at Flemish universities are women!

9 2. Women at the University?  The Centre helps to assist the library in assembling resources on women’s studies theology and making them known and available.  It stimulates the mobility of students and researchers by providing a Travel Grant for the active participation in international colloquia and conferences on gender-related themes in religion and theology.

10 3. Women at the altar?

11 3. Women at the altar? Example: Publication on women and leaders in diverse spiritual traditions  Interviews with female leaders in their respective religion: a female priest, a female rabbi, a female guru, a female imam.

12 4. Is God a man or a woman?  How does an image of God influence tradition and belief? Can a female image of God create changes in the way one believes?  Every six weeks, the members of the Centre discuss theology from a female perspective.

13 5a. Are women frustrated menhaters? The Centre is open for all who might be interested. We welcome men and women. Discussions are held in English, but a basic knowledge of English would be sufficient in order to participate.

14 5b. Are men afraid of feminists? Every year the Centre asks a professor of the Faculty of Theology to give a lecture about the relevance of female researchers and feminist studies, focussing on their own research area. In Prof. dr. Dehandschutter (church history) gave a lecture with the daring title: 'Wanted Church Fathers: m/f!?'.

15 6. Women in the bible: victims or heroes?  Interdisciplinary reseach project : Mary Magdalene Noli me tangere Joh 20:17

16 Noli me tangere

17 7. The Centre: who, what and how?  The Forum is the heart of the Centre. The members gather every six weeks to discuss all kinds of topics related to women’s studies and theology. All who are interested are welcome.  More information: or Isabelle Vanden Hove:


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