Gender and Religion

Dr. Dima Dabbous-Sensenig and Dr. Lydia Potts

Lectures: Sunday, Oct. 21, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Setting the agenda for the working group: Thursday, Oct. 25, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Working group (independent): Friday, Oct. 26 – Sunday Oct. 28 (16 hrs)
Presentation: Monday, Oct 29, 10:00 – 4:30 pm (30 min.)

General methodology:

The two seminars (Gender & Religion, and Gender & the Media) will consist of a theoretical and a practical part:

  1. First the students learn about existing theories and methodologies related to each field/topic of analysis (from various assigned articles). For that purpose they will be required to come to the seminar having read the assigned articles and prepared to discuss them in class.
  2. Then these theories and methodologies are, as much as possible, examined, critiqued, and applied to specific cases (novels, films, television programs, magazines, advertisements, segments of Scriptures, etc.). Whenever possible, relevant scenes from films or television will be shown and discussed in class.

Seminar on Gender & Religion


This seminar aims at introducing students in general to the role and representation of women in the holy books related to the 3 monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This will be done by acquainting students with the nature and justification for this representation on the one hand, and with the major feminist or non-sexist approaches to these sacred texts on the other.

Required readings (selected chapters from the following books)


  • -Afshar, H. (1998) Islam and Feminisms: An Iranian Case-Study. London: Macmillan. [chapter 1: ‘Islamist Women in Iran, pp. 16 to 35]
  • - Barlas, A. (2002) Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. [chapter 6: ‘the family and marriage’, pp. 167 to 202]
  • - Ehrman, B. (2005) Misquoting Jesus . NY: Harper Collins. [chapter 7, ‘the social worlds of the text’, pp. 177 to 205]
  • -Fiorenza, E.S. (1998) In Memory of Her, 10th ed. N.Y: Crossroad. [chapter 1: Toward a feminist critical hermeneutics, pp. 3 to 40; chapter 2: toward a feminist critical method,  pp. 41 to 67]
  • - Isherwood L. & D. McEwan (ed) (1996) A to Z of Feminist Theology. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.  [pp. 162-164 on ‘Old Testament Women’]
  • -Mernissi, F. (1991) The Veil and the Male Elite. Reading, Massachussets: Perseus Books [chapter 2: ‘The Prophet and hadith’, pp. 25 to 48]
  • - Roded R. (ed) (1999) Women in Islam and the Middle East: A Reader. London: I.B. Tauris. [chapter 1: ‘The Quran, differing interpretation of the divine word’, pp. 27 to 31].
  • -Wilcox, L. (1998) Women and the Holy Quran: A Sufi Perspective. Riverside, CA: M.T.O.  Shahmaghsoudi [chapter 1, pp. 1 to 15; chapters 13 & 14, pp. 133 to 151]
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