Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies & Dialogue

Sacred Texts and Human Contexts

These conferences bring together scholars from the United States, Canada, and around the globe to share research on contemporary issues in religion and social sciences. We invite you to join us.

Sacred Texts and Human Contexts: Women and Gender in Religions

When: July 30 - August 1, 2017

Where: Nazareth College, Rochester, New York

This international symposium will elaborate on how religions have viewed and interpreted their sacred texts throughout their histories with reference to women and gender relations. It will also reveal how experts in religious studies and social studies are reconsidering their religious and spiritual teachings about this very important topic.

Some of the issues that presenters will consider exploring are:

  • Religious rights and obligations, especially in leading worship services and holding key positions in religious hierarchy

  • Reproductive rights such as birth control, abortion, and access to health services

  • Equal opportunities such as equal employment, equal pay, and social security irrespective of color and race 

  • Marriage including women’s consent to marriage, divorce, custody of children, and inheritance

  • Social relations such as family dispute, conflict resolution, and other interrelated factors                       

  • Sexual orientation including issues around rights of the LGBTQ community

  • Constitutional rights such as equal political and social opportunities

  • Equal educational opportunities at all levels

  • Conference poster:

Please share with us your thoughts on these topics or other topics. We welcome your ideas.

More details will be added as they are finalized.

Conference Information

Sacred Texts Book
Submitting Proposals
Foundational Questions
Conference Registration, Meals, and Housing
Conference Schedule

Administration and Planning

Event Partners
Sponsors
Planning Committee

Conference History

2013: Focused on the role of sacred texts in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in uniting and dividing humanity. Selected papers from the conference were published in December 2014. 

2014: Held in Istanbul. Focused on poverty and wealth in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Selected papers were published by Palgrave MacMillan in June 2016.

2016: Focused on nature and the environment in religions. Selected papers are being prepared for publication. A WXXI public radio half-hour interview with Thomas Donlin-Smith, professor of religious studies at Nazareth College; Nathan Kollar, Hickey Center co-founder; and others explored how faith influences the environment.

Why Rochester, New York

While in Rochester, conference participants could visit nearby historic landmarks that define the women’s rights movement.

  • Rochester is the seed of the Women’s Rights Movement. Susan B. Anthony lived and worked tirelessly here for suffrage and is buried in the local Mount Hope Cemetery.  Visit the Susan. B. Anthony House.
  • Less than an hour from Rochester is Seneca Falls, home of the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, including Wesleyan Chapel where the first Women's Rights Convention was held in 1848.

  • Learn about the traditionally matriarchal society of the Seneca people — which inspired the women's suffrage movement — at a historic site and culture center just southeast of Rochester in Victor called Ganondagan.

  • Genesee Country Village and Museum presents the lives and times of 19th-century America, including women.

  • Read more about Women's Heritage & Rights in the region.

National "firsts" in Rochester

  • Martha Matilda Harper defied her destiny as a servant girl to launch America's first business format franchising system in 1891.
  • Catherine Anselm "Kate" Gleason, born in Rochester, was an American engineer and business woman. She was the first woman elected to membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the first woman to serve as president of a national bank, and the first female member of the American Concrete Institute.
  • Antoinette Blackwell was the first ordained female minister in the United States.