R&G special issue with responses: Habemus Gender!

Religion and Gender has just published a second round of its latest issue at https://www.religionandgender.org/. This means that a number of responses were published to the existing special issue “Habemus Gender! The Catholic Church and ‘Gender Ideology'” (guest edited by Sarah Bracke and David Paternotte), as well as a number of bookreviews. We invite you to review these new publications here and visit our web site to review articles and other items of interest.

Religion and Gender
Vol 6, No 2 (2016): Habemus Gender! The Catholic Church and ‘Gender Ideology’
Table of Contents

Unpacking the Sin of Gender (143-154)
Sarah Bracke, David Paternotte

Articles (special issue)
The Role of the Popes in the Invention of Complementarity and the Anathematization of Gender (155-172)
Mary Anne Case

Gender and the Problem of Universals: Catholic Mobilizations and Sexual Democracy in France (173-186)
Eric Fassin

Against the Heresy of Immanence: Vatican’s ‘Gender’ as a New Rhetorical Device against the Denaturalisation of the Sexual Order (187-204)
Sara Garbagnoli

Sexual Politics and Religious Actors in Argentina (205-225)
Mario Pecheny,  Daniel Jones, Lucía Ariza

The Sin of Turning Away from Reality: An Interview with Father Krzysztof Charamsa (226-246)
David Paternotte, Mary Anne Case, Sarah Bracke

Gender and Meaning in a Postmodern World: An Elusive Quest for Truth
Tina Beattie
Moral Panic and Gender Ideology in Latin America (251-255)
Gloria Careaga-Pérez
‘Theologies’ and Contexts in a Latin American perspective (256-263)
Sonia Corrêa
Unreal: Catholic Ideology as Epistemological War (264-267)
Elsa Dorlin
‘Gender Ideology’: Weak Concepts, Powerful Politics (268-272)
Agnieska Graff
Catholic Gender Denial (273-275)
Mary Hunt
Vetera novis augere: Notes on the Rhetoric of Response (276-281)
Mark Jordan
The Vatican Anti-Gender Theory and Sexual Politics: An African Response (282-292)
Kapya Kaoma
The Vatican and the Birth of Anti-Gender Studies (293-296)
Elżbieta Korolczuk
How are Anti-Gender Movements Changing Gender Studies as a Profession? (297-299)
Andrea Pető
Gender and the Vatican (300-301)
Joan W. Scott
Francis and ‘Gender Ideology’: Heritage, Displacement and Continuities (302-307)
Juan Marco Vaggione

Book Reviews
Thinking about Goddesses: A Review of Three Recent Books (308-313)
Carol Christ
Review of Robin L. Riley, Depicting the veil: Transnational sexism and the war on terror, London: Zed Books 2013, vi + 182 pp. ISBN 978-1-78032-128-8 (314-316)
Linda Duits
Review of Rebecca Moore, Women in Christian Traditions (Women in Religions Series), 2015, New York: New York University Press 2015, 209 pp., ISBN 976-1-4798-2175-4 (317-319)
Janet Eccles
Review of Joanna Mishtal, The Politics of Morality. The Church, the State, and Reproductive Rights in Postsocialist Poland (Polish and Polish-American Studies Series), Ohio: Ohio University Press 2015, 258 pp., ISBN 978-0-8214-2140-6 (320-322)
Dominika Gruziel
Review of Tine Van Osselaer, The Pious Sex. Catholic Constructions of Masculinity and Femininity in Belgium, c. 1800–1940 (KADOC Studies on Religion, Culture and Society 12), Leuven: Leuven University Press 2013, 271 pp., ISBN 978-90-5867-950-5 (323-325)
Alexander Maurits
Review of Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip and Sarah-Jane Page, Religious and Sexual Identities: A Multi-Faith Exploration of Young Adults. Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate Publishing, 2013, xii + 266 pp., ISBN 978-1-4094-2637-0 (326-328)
Lieke Schrijvers
Review of Masooda Bano & Hilary Kalmbach (eds.), Women, Leadership, and Mosques. Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority, Leiden: Brill, 2012, xviii + 582 pp., ISBN 9789004211469 (329-332)
Yafa Shanneik
Review of Gina Messina-Dysert & Rosemary Radford Ruether (eds.), Feminism and Religion in the 21st Century: Technology, Dialogue, and Expanding Borders, New York & Abingdon: Routledge Taylor & Francis, 2015, viii + 218 pp., ISBN 978-0-415-83193-2 (333-335)
Nicola Slee
Review of Tine Van Osselaer, Patrick Pasture (eds.) Christian Homes. Religion, Family and Domesticity in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Leuven; Leuven University Press, 2014, 227 pp., ISBN 978-94-62-70018-5 (336-338)
Marguerite Van Die

Journal Religion and Gender

Expert meeting: Rethinking Religion, Emancipation and Women’s Conversion

The research group “Beyond ‘Religion versus Emancipation”, with IARG director prof. Anne-Marie Korte as project leader, organises its first interdisciplinary symposium at Utrecht University. Two keynote lectures by experts in the field, professor Jeanette Jouili (University of Pittsburgh) and professor Elina Vuola (University of Helsinki), will be the starting point for a discussion about conversion, religion and emancipation. This expert meeting is part of the NWO-funded project “Beyond ‘Religion versus Emancipation’: Women’s Conversions to Judaism, Christianity and Islam in Contemporary Western Europe”, located at the department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Utrecht University. This project investigates public discourses, religious traditions and lived experiences of women who have converted or are in the process of conversion. It also researches secular and religious discourses about gender, sexuality and emancipation. A more extensive description of the project can be found here.

Conversion, a paradox?!
In contemporary Western Europe, an intense public and political debate is taking place about the changing role of religion in society. In post-9/11 Western societies and academic debates, the notion that traditional religion is fundamentally conflicting with women’s emancipation and processes of secularisation has gained plausibility. This view is based on the assumption that secularism is inherently better for women than religion. Consequently, women’s deliberate religious conversions are a pertinent academic, religious and socio-political issue which is often framed as a paradox.

Secular vs. religion problematised
This project analyses and problematises the assumed incompatibility between liberal-secular societies and traditional religious communities by exploring their points of contact and friction, hereby also problematising the stigmatising and exoticisation of conservative monotheistic traditions. It explores how the conflict between secular and religious gender and sexuality discourses is perceived and experienced by female converts, and the various ways in which they balance the assumed incompatibility. By studying female conversion as an ongoing and multi-layered negotiation between secular and religious gender discourses, the project develops an innovative model of interpretation. Important questions in this context are: how do female converts negotiate the becoming of new religious subjectivities? How does the analysis of women’s conversion, based on the negotiation approach, enable an alternative and critical contribution to academic and public accounts of women’s conversion and  their underlying concepts of individual autonomy, emancipation and religion? What ‘secular’ and ‘religious’ ideas on emancipation and gender equality are found in public and/or religious discourses and how do they relate to each other?

In this first expert meeting, the members of the research project bring together various international scholars, researchers and students to critically reflect on and explore the complex relationship between female conversion, emancipation and religion on the basis of the above mentioned questions. The afternoon will start with two inspiring keynote lectures in which professor Elina Vuola (University of Helinki) and professor Jeanette Jouili (University of Pittsburgh) will talk about the intersections between religion, gender, conversion and emancipation. Elina Vuola is a specialist on the intersections between (feminist) theology and gender issues. Her current research project explores how religious minorities with a strict gender order manage in secular Finnish society. Jeanette Jouili is an expert on the field of contemporary Islam in Europe, religious pluralism and secularism. Her recent book ‘Pious Practice and Secular Constraints’ chronicles the everyday ethical struggles of women active in orthodox and socially conservative Islamic revival circles as they try to give expression to their religious identity within western secular societies.
The lectures will be followed by a round table discussion with all the attendees, in which four expert in the field of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religiosity and conversion will take the lead to reflect on the themes of the day starting from different perspectives (Judaism, Christianity and Islam).

Sharing knowledge and expertise, together with critical discussion on the complex relationship between female conversion, emancipation and religion, will be the main aim of the afternoon. Anyone who is interested in these topics is therefore warmly invited to participate in this expert meeting.

Start date and time:           10 May 2017 14:00

End date and time:             10 May 2017 18:00

Language:                              English

Location:                                Drift 21, Sweelinckzaal, Utrecht.

Registration:                         Participation is free, register via email: religionandemancipation@gmail.com

Programme:                Programme Expert Meeting



Expert meetings

Extended deadline CfA: IARG International Summer School

International Summer School: “Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion and Gender: Postcolonial, Post-secular and Queer Perspectives”

17-21 May 2017, Maastricht University, the Netherlands

Organized by the Centre for Gender and Diversity (CGD), Maastricht University, the Netherlands; and the International Association for the study of Religion and Gender (IARG).

You can download the call as a pdf file here.

Please note that you can still send in applications until the 25th of March.


In contemporary multicultural societies, religious subjectivities, conflicts and contestations often focus on the themes of sexual difference, gender and sexuality. It is evident that in our postcolonial world and in (post)secular ‘Western’ as well as in ‘Non-Western’ societies, the confrontations, profiling and ‘identity’ politics of, and over and against religion[s] are often shaped by issues directly related to gender and sexuality (e.g. the recurrent heated debates over women’s veiling, abortion, or homosexuality). The expanding academic field of religion and gender provides critical tools to analyse these issues, and we wish to continue developing critical approaches to the study of religion and gender in the upcoming IARG advanced summer school.

In order to break new grounds in the understanding of these complex dynamics of religion and gender in our contemporary world, this advanced summer school explores the current major challenges to the study of religion and gender by focusing on three contemporary critical perspectives in the humanities: postcolonial, post-secular and queer theory (cf. Auga, et al. 2014). The CGD and IARG invite junior researchers (advanced MA students, PhD candidates, and postdocs) and other interested scholars to participate in the summer school. The summer school is aimed at students and scholars whose research is situated in the interdisciplinary study of religion and gender and who seek to incorporate critical theory in their projects. We encourage an interdisciplinary approach, welcoming scholars from, amongst others, gender studies, men and masculinity studies, disability studies, theology, religious studies, anthropology, history, literature, cultural studies and media studies.

The summer school strives towards integrating postcolonial, post-secular and queer theory, culminating in innovative and critical research questions and methodologies in the study of religion and gender. The three perspectives refer to three major social changes which have an impact on the contemporary representation, role and practice of religion and gender, as well as the academic reflection thereof.

  • Postcolonial as well as decolonial theories aim to challenge and deconstruct ‘Western’ dominant models of knowledge, also in the study of religion and gender (for example critiquing binaries like ‘West’/’East’, enlightened/backward and sacred/secular). It seeks to unmask colonial epistemological frameworks, unravel Eurocentric logics, and interrogate stereotypical cultural representations (cf. Keller et al. 2004, Pui-lan 2005). It pays attention to different experiences of people across geographical, ethnic, racial, religious and sexual diffractions and performances.
  • From a post-secular perspective, the secularisation thesis, stating that religion is in decline or even that it is bound to disappear completely, is being questioned and criticised. It deconstructs gendered and sexual constructions of religious-secular binaries, for example through studying new spirituality or critically debating the conceptions of religious agency that have been produced within secular gender theory (cf. Aune et al. 2008, Braidotti 2008, Bracke 2008).
  • In queer theory, the entanglement of religion, gender and sexuality is studied beyond heteronormative schemes. It is sensitive to the ways in which religions in the context of postcolonial and post-secular societies can be constitutive of heteronormative religious subjectivities, but can also be a source of rituals, practices and discourses that challenge heteronormativity. Therefore, they can be creatively employed to imagine religious subjectivities outside of heteronormative frames (cf. Althaus-Reid 2003, Tonstad 2015, Wilcox 2013).

This summer school provides an advanced programme consisting of keynote lectures and intensive masterclasses guided by scholars in the field of religion, gender and sexuality. Confirmed lecturers are prof. dr. Ulrike Auga (Humboldt University), dr. Kristin Aune (Coventry University) and dr. Lana Sirri (Maastricht University). It brings together leading scholars from internationally renowned research institutions with junior researchers from a variety of global and national contexts. This set-up enriches the understanding of the participants of new critical developments in the field of religion and gender, and enables an in-depth theoretical exploration of their individual research projects. In addition, the summer school will offer workshops on writing, on integrating theory and data, as well as peer-sessions on the process of a PhD-project or publishing. Furthermore, it provides opportunities for future collaborations and building up an international network. The summer school aims at circa 20 participants.

Preliminary programme

In the afternoon two plenary keynote lectures will be given by international scholars. In the following morning, these two scholars will both supervise a masterclass for circa 10 participants, with text reading assignments and/or discussion of individual research projects. The participants will be grouped together for the masterclasses according to their thematic focus, or according to level (MA for a more introductory and PhD’s/postdocs for a more advanced masterclass).

Wednesday 17 May   Afternoon

  • Arrival, welcome and opening of the summer school
  • Opening lectures

Thursday 18 May

  • Masterclasses (morning) and keynote lectures (afternoon)

Friday 19 May

  • Masterclasses (morning) and workshops (afternoon)

Saturday 20 May        Conference Day

  • Presentations by participants with response/feedback
  • Keynote lecture
  • Panel discussion

Sunday 21 May           Morning

  • Workshop/Closing session


Participation in the summer school is free for members of the IARG. In case you can fully refund the summer school fee from your institution we ask a fee of 100 euros. For non-members the summer school fee is also 100 euros. Participants need to take care of their own travel and accommodation costs (a hostel is about 25 euros a night). Lunch, coffee and refreshments during the summer school are included. We try to make available a limited number of travel/accommodation bursaries, but this is not guaranteed yet. If these financial arrangements limit your ability to participate, please contact the organizing committee. For any questions you can contact the organizing committee at conference@religionandgender.org


To apply for participation in the summer school please send the following documents to conference@religionandgender.org before 25 March 2017:

  • One-page description of your research project (introduction, research questions, methodology, approach)
  • Motivation for participation in the summer school (one page)
  • Short C.V. (including education, publications, teaching experiences)
  • Does your institution refund a summer school fee or not?