HDS Announces 2005-06 WSRP Research Associates and Visiting Faculty

wmcdowell@hds.harvard.edu

The Women's Studies in Religion Program has announced its five visiting scholars for 2005-06. They are Gannit Ankori of Hebrew University, in religion and society; Rosemary Carbine of the College of the Holy Cross, in theology; Constance Furey of Indiana University, in history of Christianity; Shahla Haeri of Boston University, in religion and society; and Jia Jinhua of the City University of Hong Kong, in world religion.

Ankori's project, "A Faith of Their Own: Women Artists Re-vision Religion," is a comparative investigation of the vital role played by religious symbols, images, and rituals in the work of several influential twentieth-century women artists. Carbine will be exploring the contributions of Christian feminist theologians, in "Ecclesial Work: Toward a Feminist Theology of Creating Community in Personal, Religious, and Public Life."

Furey's "Religious Relationships in Devotional Poetry: Gender and Genre in Renaissance Christianity" will be an analysis of the work of women authors of the English Renaissance. Haeri will assess the changing relationship between the state, religion, and women in Iran in "Religion, Politics, and Women in Iran: Edging Toward Democracy?" And in "The Roles and Images of Taoist Priestesses in Medieval China," Ja Jinhua will study the society and literature of the Tang dynasty (618-907) in China.

The WSRP was established in 1973 to promote critical inquiry into the interaction of religion and gender. Each year, it names as research associates and visiting lecturers five scholars whose work is judged to be outstanding in advancing the field of women's studies in religion.

Gannit Ankori (Hebrew University)
A Faith of Their Own: Women Artists Re-vision Religion

A comparative investigation of the complex and vital role played by religious symbols, images, and rituals in the artistic oeuvres of several influential twentieth-century women artists from diverse ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. In analyzing their hybrid religious revisions, alternative cosmologies, and personalized rituals, we discover that even as they created art, these artists forged a faith of their own. (Religion & Society)
Course: Gender, Religion, and the Female Body in Twentieth-Century Art.

Rosemary Carbine (Holy Cross College)
Ecclesial Work: Toward a Feminist Theology of Creating Community in Personal, Religious, and Public Life

Explores contributions of Christian feminist theologians to the active critique and construction of community in personal, religious, and public life. The project examines representative practices of ecclesial work (e.g., voice, imaging, and solidarity) in white feminist theology, African American womanist theology, and Latina feminist/mujerista theology. (Theology)
Course: Feminist Theological Anthropology

Constance Furey (Indiana University)
Religious Relationships in Devotional Poetry: Gender and Genre in Renaissance Christianity

An analysis of the devotional poetry of female authors of the English Renaissance. Their work will be considered alongside analogous poems by male authors to clarify how gender influenced the relationships they describe with God and other people and, in turn, how the psychology of desire worked out in these texts affirmed and challenged assumptions about gender. (History of Christianity)
Course: The Gendered Subject: Devotional Poetry in the English Renaissance

Shahla Haeri (Boston University)
Religion, Politics, and Women in Iran: Edging Toward Democracy?

Focuses on women political leaders (including 47 presidential candidates) to assess the changing relationship between the state, religion, and women in Iran. This project argues that Iran's experimentation with Islamization in the past 25 years encouraged the development of a dynamic, if at times battered, democracy movement, of which the incipient women's movement forms a significant part. (Religion & Society)
Course: Women Political Leaders and Religious Law in the Muslim World

Jia Jinhua (City University of Hong Kong)
The Roles and Images of Taoist Priestesses in Medieval China

An in-depth study of the roles and images of Taoist priestesses in the society and literature of the Tang dynasty (618-907) in China. This interdisciplinary study of religion and literature applies a synthetic method of gender analysis, feminist criticism, and textual, literary, historical, and religious studies to incorporate feminism into religious and literary history and, in turn, religion and literature into the history of feminism. (World Religion)
Course: Goddesses, Priestesses, and Poets: Women in the Taoist Tradition