Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies & Dialogue

2017 Schedule

Sacred Texts and Human Contexts: Women and Gender in Religions

July 30-August 1, 2017

Otto A. Shults Community Center, Nazareth College, 4245 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618

Sunday, July 30

Registration and Reception: 2-5 p.m.

Opening and Welcoming Remarks: 5:00 p.m.

Andrea Talentino, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Nazareth College

Dianne Oliver: Dean College of Arts and Sciences,  Vision statement on future of Interfaith Dialogue and the Role of Hickey Center

Dinner: 5:30 p.m.

Dinner Keynote Speaker : 6:15 p.m.

 Rabbi Rachel Sabath-Halachmi, "Gender and Judaism: The Ethics of  Transformation

Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi serves the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion as the National Director of Recruitment and Admissions and President's Scholar and heads the Office of Community Engagement.  Prior to this recent appointment, Rabbi Sabath served as Vice President of the Shalom Hartman Institute and for over a decade as a member of the Institute's faculty, and directed the Hartman Lay leadership, Rabbinic leadership, and Christian leadership programs. Ordained at the HUC-JIR nearly 20 years ago, Rabbi Sabath also earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Rabbi Sabath writes a monthly column in the Jerusalem Post and has co-authored two books and published numerous articles. Rabbi Sabath also teaches and mentors students of HUC-JIR and speaks throughout North America on leadership, Israel, gender, and theology. She is currently writing a book on the future of covenant for Jewish Peoplehood.

 Moderator: Dr. Sara Varhus, Nazareth College

Monday, July 31

Breakfast: 7:30 a.m.( All Breakfast are served at the Shults Center)

Women in Ancient Sacred Stories

(9-10:30 a.m. Session 1, Panel 1)

Moderator: Nancy M Rourke, Canisius College

  1. Jonathan P. Yates, Villanova University  - “A Deceitful Whore? Rahab in the Ancient North African Christian Tradition”

  2. John Thompson, Christopher Newport University - “When Father Doesn’t Know Best: Dharmic Conversion in Chapter 27 of the Lotus Sūtra”

  3. Syeda Afshana Bhat, University of Kashmir - “Three Sisters and One Necklace"

Proverb 31 and the Making of the Ideal woman

(9-10:30 a.m. Session 1, Panel 2)

Moderator: George Eisen, LaSalle University

  1. Demetrios E. Tonias, Hellenic College - “Casting Against Type: Sarah and the Strong Woman in the Works of John Chrysostom”

  2. John Fadden, St. John Fisher College - “The Woman of Valor and the Ideal Christian Wife Today: Readings of Proverbs 31”

  3. Amy J. Chase, Drew University - “How to Locate a Woman of Worth: An Examination of Space and Gender Construction in Proverbs 31”

Feminism Across Faiths

(9-10:30 a.m. Session 1, Panel 3)

Moderator: Mustafa Gokcek, Niagara University

  1. Erica Olson-Bang, The College of New Rochelle - “ ‘Has He Not Spoken Through Us Also?’  Miriam, Feminist Midrash, and a Christian Retrieval”

  2. Jessica Peacock, North Park University - “The Lilith Myth and Feminism Today”

  3. Lilit Shakaryan, Yerevan State University - “Armenian Woman Image in Mass Media (TV): from Gender Sensitivity to Gender Stereotypes”           

Break: 10:30 a.m.

Men, Women, and Gender in Sacred Texts

(11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Session 2, Panel 1)

Moderator: Susan Nowak, Nazareth College

  1. Saundra Sterling Epstein, Director, BeYachad, Phildelphia-- " Women, LGBT and orthodox Judaism"

  2. Hussam S. Timani, Christopher Newport University - “The Feminine in the Qur’an: Reading Mary in Light of Adam”

  3. Sheila E. McGinn, John Carroll University - “Gender and Virginity in the Acts of Paul and Thecla”

Men, Women, and Gender in Sacred Traditions

(11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Session 2, Panel 2)

Moderator:  Peter Knapp, Northeastern Seminary

  1. Maha Badissy, Mohamed Premier University  - “Masculinities in the Islamic Tradition: Rethinking Gender Dynamics in the Prophetic Teachings”

  2. Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh, Colby College -  “Translating Sikh Sacred Text”   

  3. Andrii Krawchuk, University of Sudbury - “Gender in Russian Orthodoxy: Theological and Political Dimensions and Pastoral Strategies”

Family, Sexual Ethics, and Society

(11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Session 2, Panel 3)

Moderator: Thomas Donlin-Smith, Nazareth College

  1. Debra Majeed, Beloit College - “Living Postmodern Polygyny? African American Muslim Women & the Choice to Share”

  2. Fatih Harpci, Carthage College - “Same-sex Relations from Islamic Perspective: Facts vs. Fiction"

  3. José-David Padilla, Barry University - “Malakoi and Arsenokoitai: Much More than Gay Sex”

Lunch & Keynote: 12:30pm

Asma Afsaruddin,The Qur'an, Gender, and Feminist Interpretations”

Beginning in the twentieth century, Muslim feminist scholars have expressed challenging, culturally-derived attitudes that have shaped patriarchal societies in Muslim-majority countries.  These women exegetes offer critiques on traditional methodologies of engaging the Qur’an and provide alternative readings of critical verses that deal specifically with gender relations, which will be the focus of this lecture.

Asma Afsaruddin is Professor of Islamic Studies in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.  She is the author and editor of seven books, including the award-winning titles Contemporary Issues in Islam (Edinburgh University Press, 2015) and Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought  (Oxford University Press, 2013).  Her research has been funded by grants from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which named her a Carnegie Scholar in 2005.

Moderator: Dianne Oliver, Nazareth College

Family, Rights, and Law

(2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Session 3, Panel 1)

Moderator: David Bell, St. John Fisher College

  1. Ludger Viefhues-Bailey, LeMoyne College -  “An Unspeakable Claim to Burden: Sexual Contestations, Religious Liberty Laws, and the Making of Faith”

  2. Hamidullah Marazi, Central University of Kashmir - “Property Rights of Muslim Women With Reference to Half Widows!”

  3. Nourah Alhasawi, Princess Nourah Bent Abdurrahman University -  The Oppression of Not Being Seen: Face-veiled Muslim Women in the eyes of non-Muslim American Women

Empowering Muslim Women

(2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Session 3, Panel 2)

Moderator: Shalahudin Kafrawi - Hobart & William Smith Colleges

  1. Nazila Isgandarova, Emmanuel College of Victoria University - “Learned Hoplessness: The Case of a Muslim Woman in Islamic Counseling” Nazila Isgandarova

  2. Tarik Al Werthan, University of Rochester - “Education and Empowering Women in Muslim Societies”

  3. Nicole Correri, Hartford Seminary - "Constructs of Masculinity in Shi`i Online English Language Majalis: The Use of Hagiography and Qur'an to Convey Gender Binaries"

Interfaith Women of the Twentieth Century

(2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Session 3, Panel 3)

Moderator: David Hill, Oswego State University

  1. Susan Nowak, Nazareth College - “Sister Margit Slachta, founder of the Society of the Sisters of Social Service (Hungary)”

  2. Christine Bochen, Nazareth College - “Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement (United States)”

  3. Corinne Dempsey, Nazareth College - “Sister Alphonsa of Bharananganam, a member of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Franciscans (Kerala, India)”

Break: 3:30pm

(4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Session 4, Panel 1)

Women and Activism Across Cultures

Moderator:Moderator: Andrii Krawchuk, University of Sudbury

  1. Jonathan Lawrence, Canisius College - “West Side Sisters – Nuns’ Stories from a Convent in Buffalo”                                    

  2. Kathleen M. McIntyre, Clarion University - “The Seven Sisters and Missionary Work in Latin America, 1865-1970

  3. Timothy James Carey, Boston College - “ ‘I Was Sick and You Did Not Visit Me’: Gender Discrimination Towards People Living with HIV/AIDS and the 2010 Kenyan Constitution”  

Women and Ritual

(4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Session  4, Panel 2)

Moderator:  Sheila E. McGinn, John Carroll University

  1. Ute Hüsken, Heidelberg University - “Hindu Priestesses (Strī Purohitā) in Pune”    

  2. Nawaraj Chaulagain,  Illinois Wesleyan University - “Women’s Rituals, Gendered Rituals: Traditional Praxis and Strategic Interventions in Modern Times”

  3. Aisa Purak, College of Brockport - "FGM - Female Genital Mutilation: A Muslim Woman Response"

Subversion and Religious Authority

(4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Session 4, Panel 3)

Moderator: Richard Salter, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

  1. Kate Mroz, Boston College - “Is it Necessary to Break the Rules? A Comparative Look at Amina Wadud and the Roman Catholic Women-priests Movement”

  2. Imam Ali Siddiqui - “Religious Rights and Obligations, Especially in Leading Worship Services and Holding Key Positions in the Religious Hierarchy”

  3. Amy K. Milligan, Old Dominion University - “The Subversive Jewish Feminist Body: Creating Spaces of Protest through Embodiment in Synagogue Life”

Dinner and Keynote: 6:00PM

Mary E. Hunt, "Religious Dynamism and Feminist Action: Anchors of Contemporary Spirituality”

Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D., is a feminist theologian who is co-founder and co-director of the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. A Catholic active in the women-church movement and on LGBTIQ matters, she lectures and writes on theology and ethics with particular attention to liberation issues. She is an editor of A Guide for Women in Religion: Making Your Way from A to Z (Palgrave, 2004, 2014) and co-editor with Diann L. Neu of New Feminist Christianity: Many Voices, Many Views (SkyLight Paths, 2010).

Moderator: Andrea Talentino, Vice-President Academic, Nazareth College

Tuesday, August 1

Breakfast: 7:30am At Shults Center

Representing Women in Visual Cultures

(9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Session 5, Panel 2)

Moderator: Melanie May, Rochester Colgate Divinity School

  1. Michael D. Calabria, St. Bonaventure University - “By the Book: Women as Calligraphers and Patrons of the Qur’an”

  2. Joan Christi S. Trocio,  University of Santo Tomas -  “A Research Poem on the Roles of Indigenous Women in the Tribal Justice System: The Case of Lamlifew, Philippines”         

  3. Hajra Khan, University of the Punjab - “Pakistani Feminists and Islamic Scholars’ Perception of Different Sexual Orientations and Reproductive Rights: A Comparative Analysis”                          

Imaging the Divine

(9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Session 5, Panel 3)

Moderator: Evan Dawson, WXXI

  1. Leonard Swidler, Temple University - “ Pacifism- Feminism-Evangelists: A Virtuous Triangle”

  2. MaryAnn Bush, Nazareth College - “I and Me: Raising Inanna”

Break: 10:30am

(11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Session 6, Panel 1)

Women, Liberation and Self-Expression

Moderator: Christine Bochen, Nazareth College

  1. Alison Albright, Nazareth College - “Religious Expression and Pursuing Your Life's Work: Navigating the Career Search Landscape as a Woman of Faith”

  2. Sharmila Kasbekar - “Liberation in renunciation: Women choosing the monastic life in early Buddhism"

(11:00AM - 12:30PM, Session 6, Panel 2

 Creating God-Talk: Women, Spiritual Leadership, and Imaging the Divine 

 Convenor:  Elizabeth Adams-Eilers

  1. Elizabeth Adams-Eilers, Drexel University College of Medicine - "Presence and the Via Positiva: Naming the Divine in Nature”

  2. Saundra Sterling Epstein (Sunnie), Educational Consultant to ESHEL - " G-d is Infinite, Gender is Not"
  3. S. Zakiya Hasna Islam (Zakiya), Temple University-Unpacking the Pervasiveness of  the  Feminine  in Islam


Lunch: 12:30pm

Closing Remarks: 1:30pm

Visit to Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester: 3 p.m.