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Gender and Everyday Life in Contemporary Religion, Reading Group 1, Lent 2019

16th January, 2019 @ 13:00 - 14:00

Woolf Institute


Over the past thirty years, the field of gender and religion has transformed from an almost invisible category to a vibrant, nuanced and flourishing field of study (Abu-Lughod, 1986, 1998; Avishai, 2008; Davidman, 1991; El-Or, 2010; Fader, 2009; Fishman, 2008; Griffith, 1997; Mahmood, 2005; Stadler, 2009). Inspired by pioneer works such as Saba Mahmood (2005), Marie Griffith (1997) and Lila Abu-Lughod (1986, 1998), the works that followed, examined the emergence of creative readings of traditional texts (Sonbol, 2015; Stadler, 2009; Taragin-Zeller, 2014), the growing models of female literacy, leadership and clergy (Avishai, 2008; El-Or, 2010; Hammer, 2012) as well as ritual practices (Koren, 2006; Ochs, 2007), legal issues in marriage and divorce (Joffe & Neil, 2012; Mir-Hosseini, 2013), and historical re-readings of women's literary (Umansky & Ashton, 2008).

Now that the field has been established, various critiques of this theoretical framework have emerged (e.g. Schielke, 2015; Sehlikoglu, 2016). This term, we will reread some of the 'watershed moments' in the study of gender and religion as we address some of the following questions:

Throughout Lent, we will explore these questions during two brown bag lunchtime reading groups and a special guest panel.

The first of two Reading Groups on 'Gender and Everyday Life in Contemporary Religion' will take place between 1-2pm on January 16 2019 at the Woolf Institute. The text for discussion:

Read the article.

The text will be presented by Malcolm McLean (Doctoral Candidate, Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge) who will reflect on agency, voice and the analytic place of power relations in ethnographic research.

Details of the second Reading Group can be found here.

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