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Women, Religion, and Social Change II

April 30 – May 4, 2003

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Description

Harvard University
April 30 - May 4, 2003

Hosted by the Pluralism Project at Harvard University
Financial support for this conference comes from a generous grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, with additional support from the Ford Foundation

Harvard Gazette article on the Conference

 


PARTICIPANTS:

Leila AhmedHarvard Divinity School

Laila Al-MarayatiMuslim Women's League

Sharifa Alkhateeb, North American Council for Muslim Women

Elizabeth AmoahUniversity of Ghana

Dorothy A. AustinMemorial Church, Harvard UniversityHarvard Divinity School

Brigalia BamIndependent Electoral CommissionUniversity of Port Elizabeth Women's Development Foundation

Sissela BokHarvard Center for Population and Development Studies

Ann BraudeWomen's Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School

Dhammananda bhikkhuni (Chatsumarn Kabilsingh)Buddhasavika Foundation; Songdhammakalyani Temple

Veena DasJohns Hopkins University

Shamita Das DasguptaManavi, Inc.

Sheila R. DecterJewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

Diana L. EckThe Pluralism Project, Harvard University

Dorothy Eck, Montana State Senate

Nawal El SaadawiArab Women's Solidarity Association

Blu GreenbergJewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance

Daphne HampsonSchool of Divinity, University of St. Andrews

Grove Harris, Wiccan Priestess

Beverly HarrisonUnion Theological Seminary (retired)

Sherif Hetata

Claudia HighbaughHarvard Divinity School

Mary HuntWomen's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)

Swanee HuntWomen and Public Policy Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government

Alma Abdul-Hadi JadallahInstitute for Conflict Analysis

Devaki JainUnited Nations Intellectual History Project (UNIHP)Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)
"Perspectives on Peace" speech given at Conference

Azza KaramWorld Conference on Religion and Peace

Shulamith KoenigPeople's Movement for Human Rights Education (PDHRE)

Sylvia MarcosWomen's Studies Program, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos (UAEM);Centro de Investigaciones Psicoetnológicas; Instituto de Investigaciones Antropologicas, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)

Melanie A. MayColgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Judith PlaskowManhattan College

Terry Kay RockefellerSeptember Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

Lynn SzwajaThe Rockefeller Foundation

Inés TalamantezDepartment of Religion, UC Santa Barbara

YifaHsi Lai UniversityHumanistic Buddhist Monastic Life Program, and Greater Boston Buddhist Cultural Center

Jean Zaru, Religious Society of Friends, Ramallah, Palestine and Sabeel, Palestinian Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center

Participant Bios

Participant Articles (private)


"Women, Religion and Social Change II" is an international, interreligious conference to be held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA from April 30 - May 4, 2003. This meeting will reunite a group of women who came together in 1983 for a groundbreaking interreligious conference on "Women, Religion and Social Change." This group, and their concerns, included the global and the local: participants came from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, North and South America, and Europe. The meeting drew together a diverse group of scholars and grass-roots activists for a week of intensive discussion. The broad working question of the conference was, "What is the relation of religion to the kinds of social change projects and struggles in which women are engaged around the world?" The book Speaking of Faith: Global Perspectives on Women, Religion, and Social Change, edited by Diana Eck and Devaki Jain, was a product of that meeting. Even more, new relationships and networks were formed.

In the past two decades, religion has continued to be a strong social and political force, for better and for worse. The changing demography of the world, through the migration of peoples as immigrants and refugees, has also created new, complex, multireligious societies, including the United States. Today, the dialogue of women across cultures and religious traditions is a local and national issue as well as a global concern. The Pluralism Project at Harvard University has focused on the changing religious landscape of the United States and has convened women's networks and organizations in the American context.

Those who participated in the 1983 conference on "Women, Religion and Social Change" were pioneers. Two decades later, they return as seasoned veterans with a world of insight and experience. In reuniting members of this group, and introducing new participants from the Pluralism Project's "Women's Networks," we hope to cultivate lively discussion and exchange across nations, traditions, and generations. As our global linkages become stronger, we all need to be able to see ourselves in the mirror and vision of each other.

Conference Objectives

The aims of "Women, Religion and Social Change II" include:

  • To explore the relation of religion to the kinds of social change projects and struggles in which women are engaged around the world

  • To gather together some of the participants of the "Women, Religion and Social Change" conference and learn from the experience and wisdom of each other

  • To introduce new participants and perspectives into this conversation by including U.S. representatives from "Women's Networks" meetings

  • To cultivate lively discussions and exchanges across nations, traditions, and generations

  • To better understand the energies of religious communities in the turbulence of today's world

  • To foster dialogue and discussion among women of diverse perspectives, including those with religious commitments and those with secular orientations; women working at a grassroots level as well as those in academic circles

  • To cultivate and advance communication and networks among women who are working on issues of common concern

  • To build bridges across difference and division through mutually respectful discussion

  • To foster dialogue about women's participation in diverse religious communities

  • To encourage greater understanding of women's roles in peacebuilding and social change

 


 

Public Events: WOMEN, RELIGION AND SOCIAL CHANGE II

Thursday, May 1: Barker Center for the Humanities [Space limited: by RSVP only]

3:30 PM
The U.S. Religious Context Today

Diana Eck, The Pluralism Project

Sharifa Alkhateeb, North American Council of Muslim Women

Shamita Das Dasgupta, Manavi

Sheila Decter, Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

Beverly Harrison, Union Theological Seminary Emerita

Terry Kay Rockefeller, Peaceful Tomorrows

Friday, May 2: Harvard Divinity School, Sperry Room

9:00 AM
Perspectives on the Global and the Local

Mary Hunt, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics & Ritual, Panel Chair

Brigalia Bam, South Africa Independent Electoral Commission

Devaki Jain, United Nations Intellectual History Project

Azza Karam, World Conference on Religion and Peace
10:45 AM Religious Networks and Women's Leadership

Dorothy Austin, The Memorial Church, Harvard University, Panel Chair

Elizabeth Amoah, University of Ghana

Dhammananda bhikkhuni (C. Kabilsingh), Buddhasavika Foundation

Daphne Hampson, School of Divinity, University of St. Andrews

Judith Plaskow, Manhattan College

Ines Talamantez, University of California, Santa Barbara
12:15 PM Lunch (on own)
2:00 PM

Dialogue in the Midst of Conflict

Alma Abdul-Hadi Jadallah, Institute for Conflict Analysis, Panel Chair

Laila Al-Marayati, Muslim Women's League

Blu Greenberg, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance

Jean Zaru, Religious Society of Friends, Ramallah

4:00 PM Religious Violence, Extremism, and Fundamentalisms

Leila Ahmed, Harvard Divinity School, Panel Chair

Veena Das, Johns Hopkins University

Nawal El Saadawi, Arab Women's Solidarity Association & Sherif Hetata

Melanie May, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Yifa, Hsi Lai University

Saturday, May 3, Barker Center for the Humanities
[Space limited: by RSVP only]

10:45 AM
Common Values, Human Rights, Civil Rights

Ann Braude, Harvard Divinity School, Panel Chair

Sissela Bok, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies

Dorothy Eck, Montana State Senate

Grove Harris, The Pluralism Project

Shulamith Koenig, People's Movement for Human Rights Education

Sylvia Marcos, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos