Divining Meaning: Meditations on Gender and Religion
2013 Symposium Keynote Speakers
Video recording of presentation by Rita Gross
Rita M. Gross is internationally known for her innovative thinking about Buddhism and gender, as well as Buddhist approaches to other contemporary issues. Throughout her long career, she has brought together academic and dharmic perspectives in her work as a professor, author, and dharma student and teacher. She is the author of many books and articles, the most influential of which is Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism (1992). Her most recent book is A Garland of Feminist Reflections: Forty Years of Religious Exploration (2009). She began to study Buddhism in 1965 as a graduate student, and she was appointed as lopön in 2005 by Her Eminence Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche. For many years she was professor of comparative studies in religion at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
View video presentation by Amina Wadud here.
Amina Wadud is professor emerita of Islamic studies. With three decades of distinguished contributions to the study of Islam, gender, and Qur’an, her international impact is evident in a recently published e-book containing more than 30 essays paying tribute to her influence. She has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, Harvard University Divinity School, University of Melbourne, the International Islamic University in Malaysia, and Gadjha Madha University in Indonesia, among other institutions. She is the author of Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective (1992), now 20 years old and still widely read, and translated into nearly a dozen languages, and Inside the Gender Jihad: Women’s Reform in Islam (2006). Having traveled to more than 40 countries, she currently combines activism and research as a consultant on Islam and gender at government, non-government, and academic levels.
We were unable to record the keynote panel “Queer Rituals.”
Melissa Wilcox is Associate Professor and Chair of Religion and Director of Gender Studies at Whitman College. She is the author or co-editor of several books and numerous articles on gender, sexuality, and religion, including Coming Out in Christianity: Religion, Identity, and Community (2003); Queer Women and Religious Individualism (2009); and (with David W. Machacek) Sexuality and the World’s Religions (2003). She is also the author of Religion in Today’s World: Global Issues, Sociological Perspectives (2012), and is currently at work on a book on the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
The Rev. Dr. Patrick S. Cheng is Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. He is the author of Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology (2011); From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ (2012); and the forthcoming Rainbow Theology: Bridging Race, Sexuality, and Spirit (2013). He contributes to the Religion and the Gay Voices sections of the Huffington Post, and he is an ordained minister with the Metropolitan Community Churches.
Rav Noach Dzmura is the editor of the Lambda Literary award-winning anthology, Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community, published by North Atlantic Books. He was ordained as a rabbinical pastor/ community minister in the Jewish Renewal tradition, using the title Rav, by Rabbah Emily Aviva Kapor and participants of the Transgender Jewish Gathering held in Berkeley, CA in 2012. As Director of JewishTransitions.org, Noach’s task is to educate sex-changed and gender variant people and their communities about issues related to conversion to Judaism and Jewish burial. Noach’s parnassa (day job) reflects his passion for multi-religious life and ministry: he is Director of Educational Technology, and Executive Assistant to the Office of the Provost, at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA, where he also serves as adjunct faculty.
The Gender Studies Program is located in Miller Center for the Humanities.
Director Deborah Heath
Symposium Director Kimberly Brodkin
Administrative Coordinator Nancy J. Hugg
Gender Studies Program
0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road, MSC 63
Portland, Oregon 97219