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Feminist Re-Visions of Religion
full name / name of organization:
Julie Rajan (Rutgers University) and Sanja Bahun-Radunovic (University of Essex)
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Feminist Re-Visions of Religion explores how women are re-interpreting religious traditions (oral, written, and performance) fundamental to their societies to promote their concerns and interests as women.
Such changes are evidenced among, for example, Catholic women who are challenging the Church’s privileging of masculine leadership by becoming women priests. Catholic women are also challenging the Church’s stance on contraceptives and homosexuality—issues critical to the moral framework of Catholicism. In 2012, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the largest organization of U.S. Catholic nuns, was reprimanded by the Church for promoting radical feminist ideologies about use of contraception and homosexuality. Likewise, the international women’s organization Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) challenges traditionally heretofore masculine approaches to Islam that prioritize masculinity by, for example, publishing texts that stress Muslim women’s interpretations of the Koran. In a comparable trend in Hinduism, feminists, such as Madhu Kishwar, have re-interpreted iconic Hindu religious texts, such as the Ramayana, to stress that rather than condoning, or even glorifying, the Hindu deity Rama’s harsh treatment of his wife Sita simply because he is a deity, that Hindus should interpret Rama’s actions toward Sita as, in fact, the improper way to treat women.
Feminist Re-Visions of Religion will include perspectives from women activists, policy-makers, and scholars dedicated to micro-level research about women’s appropriations of religious texts in various geographies and traditions globally. The Editors will focus on how women’s views may impact approaches and interpretations of religious traditions locally, regionally, and internationally. We believe this interdisciplinary collection will complement and extend your publishing interests.
The Editors are interested in papers exploring, among others, the following issues:
• The language and signs women use in reworking religious texts, oral traditions, or ritual performances to define and convey their understandings of women’s position in their religious contexts;
• What topics women are addressing and those they choose not to address and why;
• Receptions of women’s negotiations of religious traditions in their local communities, nationally, regionally, and internationally;
• How women are engaging in solidarity with women across national borders in re-dressing traditions;
• How women of socio-economically marginalized communities may appropriate differently the same religious texts, oral traditions, or ritual performances than more privileged women in their societies, and how their work might surface stronger solidarity with or act to separate them further from women in other communities in their local spaces;
• How notions of cultural relevance may problematize how and whether women can appropriate religious texts;
• How women’s appropriations may surface complex definitions of femininity and feminism in their local spaces in contradistinction to Western ideas of feminism;
• How women negotiate cultural traditions that promote violence against women that have been conflated with religious traditions;
• What women do with their interpretations of religious texts, oral traditions, or ritual performances—How do they organize themselves as activists locally? Do they attempt to educate other women (and men) in their communities about their perspectives?; and
• How women in nations that have not signed and/or ratified major human rights conventions impacts how they continue to articulate and negotiate their ideas of rights through cultural and legal systems in their local spaces.
• Women’s revisions of religious myths through aesthetic productions
Full papers will be due January 2014.
Please send CV and 500-word abstracts by September 1, 2013, to: