Shoulder to shoulder in feminist theologies

Feminist units available at the University of Divinity in 2020

Religions have all too often promoted traditions and beliefs that exclude or are harmful to women, and others too. In these units, the feminist theologies focus considers women, ethnicity and cultural heritage, class, LGBTIQA+ identities and the environment. They are interested in working toward a theological understanding that is life-giving to all people.

Our recent conference: Power, Authority, Love demonstrated an exploration of these perspectives; giving voice to the experience of different generations and genders, reflecting different intersections, and engaging established and emerging academics. Across the conference as a whole, individual strands were woven together into something stronger than the sum of its parts.

To explore further what it is that feminist theologies seek to challenge and mend, join us in 2020 for a study unit in Semester 1: Thinking Otherwise: Feminist Theologies convened by Cath McKinney; Perpetua to Dorothy Day: Women’s Spiritual Experience From the Early Church to Today convened by Carmel Posa; Indigenous Practical Theology Symposium convened by NAIITS; or in Semester 2: Shoulder to Shoulder: Readings in Feminist Theology convened by Stephen Burns; or Sex and the Bible convened by Jione Havea.

Look out for our events (including a major conference in biblical studies in July) on our Facebook page to keep up to date with more we are doing and look out for our publications.

We have four volumes in preparation, with the first appearing in 2020. Network members were involved in a number of publications this year. In particular, Liturgy With a Difference: Beyond Inclusion in the Christian Assembly,  gathers a broad range of international theologians and scholars to interrogate current practices of liturgy and worship in order to unmask ways in which dehumanizing majoritarianisms and presumed norms of gender, culture, ethnicity, and body, among others, remain at work in congregations. It includes contributions from Ann Loades, Teresa Berger, Susannah Cornwall, and Rachel Mann. More information is available here.

Hear in these quotes, the voice of feminist theologians and the invitation to learn together.

 “Without the power of imagination, we cannot envision a different past, present, and future… What we cannot imagine, we cannot live into and struggle for.”
– Kwok Pui-lan’s book Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology

“We do not have thousands of years to unlearn the wrong patterns that were established over thousands of years. The exponential speed-up of these cumulative patterns of destruction means we have to both learn new patterns and put them into practice on a global scale within the next generation.”
― Rosemary Radford Ruether, Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing

“I think in order to really heal the world we need the ‘wisdom of darkness.’ This can be the Third World, dark people, women, or our ‘shadows,’ … all the things we do not want to confront within ourselves, so we project them onto others and call them terrorists. So, I think that we need ‘endarkenment’ for a while, not enlightenment, to heal the world.”
– Dr. Chung Hyun Kyung, “Welcome the Spirit; Hear Her Cries,” given at the World Council of Churches Assembly in Canberra, Australia

View the Feminist Theologies 2020 Unit Guide

Thinking Otherwise Feminist Theologies

Cath McKinney and others

Explore the contribution of feminist scholarship to Christian theology. Survey the history of feminism as a term, chart the growth of significance within theological discourse since the 1980s and resistance to it. Consider the significance of feminist methods, hermeneutics and approaches to reading and interpreting Scripture. Explore the consequent impact on feminist theologising, analysis of Christian doctrine, and the understanding of Christian tradition and liturgical life. We pay particular attention to the intersection of feminism with other theologies of liberation, against structures of oppression. Considering a range of contemporary social issues, we examine the actual and potential contribution of feminist insights to shaping nuanced and vibrant theological perspectives.

Semester 1, 2020
(Intensive: 4 May, 1, 8, 15 June, 3 Aug)

College Pilgrim Theological College
Unit Code AH9100P | BS9100P | AH3100P | BS3100P
Field and Discipline Field A – History (AH)
Field B – Biblical Studies (BS)
Level Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Study Mode Intensive


From Perpetua to Dorothy Day: Women’s Spiritual Experience from the Early Church to Today

Lecturer: Carmel Posa

This unit explores the meaning of Christian spirituality using the writings of women throughout history. Emphasis will be placed on the historical context of the primary sources used, the struggles of women in coming to find their own voices within their contexts, and their specific literary genres. This study aims to bring the reader to an appreciation of both the significance of these writings for their own times, as well as their continuing relevance to our life and mission in the Christian Church today.

Semester 1, 2020 – Thursday nights

College Yarra Theological Union
Unit Code DS2215Y | DS3215Y | CH2215Y | CH3215Y
Field and Discipline Field C – Church History
Field D – Spirituality
Level Postgraduate
Study Mode Classroom-based


Indigenous Practical Theology Symposium (NAIITS)

NAIITS Lecturers

This unit aims to introduce students to a range of issues facing indigenous peoples in various parts of the world, and to a variety of ideas and points of view in response to these issues. Students will be introduced to skills, ideas and techniques that equip them for cross-cultural work.

Semester 1, 2020
(Intensive: Four day face-to-face intensive, with subsequent online component)

College Whitley College, based at Eva Burrows College (Ringwood)
Unit Code DA8002W  | DA9002W
Field and Discipline Field D – Mission and Ministry (DA)
Level Postgraduate
Study Mode Intensive and online


Sex and the Bible

Lecturer: Jione Havea

This unit (1) examines the diverse views in the Bible on sex and sexuality and (2) considers ways in which biblical interpretation might benefit from sensual and queer lenses. The unit will stress the richness of the Bible, and the discussion of questions such as, What makes a perspective on sexuality ‘biblical’? What to do, and how, when biblical perspectives contradict? How might one assess the ways that biblical text(s) have been used as authoritative resource(s) for discussing and regulating sexual ethics, identity and practice? How do changing notions of sex and sexuality impact the way biblical texts are interpreted? What may we do to make biblical interpretation more sexy, sensual, and queer?

Semester 2, 2020
(Intensive: 31 July, 1, 7, 8, 9 Aug)

College Pilgrim Theological College
Unit Code BS9070P | BS3070P
Field and Discipline Field A – History (AH)
Field B – Biblical Studies (BS)
Level Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Study Mode Intensive


Shoulder to Shoulder: Readings in Feminist Theology

Lecturer: Stephen Burns and others

Conducted in seminar style, Readings in Feminist Theology is based around primary texts. While the unit contextualises readings in the corpus of the work of their authors, it is focused on intensive engagement with representative texts that mark focal figures’ major contributions to feminist theology in different global contexts. To order the exploration of the theologians’ work, special attention will be given to two tropes in their work: Christology and leadership in Christian community.

To be scheduled for Semester 2, 2020
(Thursday 9.30-12.30pm)

College Pilgrim Theological College
Unit Code CT9400P | CT3400P
Field and Discipline Field C – Christian Thought and History
Level Postgraduate
Study Mode Classroom-based



How to Enrol


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