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Women, Authority and Leadership in Christianity and Islam

The conference will promote academic research and establish a continuing forum for dialogue and collaboration between academics and religious communities on women’s religious authority and leadership.

Posted: 10 September 2012

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Roehampton’s Professor of Catholic Studies, Tina Beattie, said the role of women in religion – particularly in Christianity and Islam – is one of the most urgent and widely debated issues facing contemporary society.
The University of Roehampton is set to challenge cultural stereotypes which represent religious women as oppressed or marginalised.

Unique international conference ‘Women, Authority and Leadership in Christianity and Islam’ will be held from September 10 to 11, followed by a community day on September 12 when representatives from Muslim and Christian communities are invited to join the academic participants for a day of lectures, seminars and discussion groups.

The conference will promote academic research and establish a continuing forum for dialogue and collaboration between academics and religious communities on women’s religious authority and leadership.

Attracting a wide range of participants from the Middle East, Africa, Australia, the Far East, the United States and several European countries, a range of issues will be explored from women as interpreters of sacred texts to the role of women as leaders in situations of religious and political conflict.

Roehampton’s Professor of Catholic Studies, Tina Beattie, said the role of women in religion – particularly in Christianity and Islam – is one of the most urgent and widely debated issues facing contemporary society.

“As secular cultures move towards ever greater equality between the sexes, religious traditions find some of their most deeply rooted values, practices and beliefs are being challenged. At the same time, Christianity and Islam have flourished and grown in widely different contexts and cultures both historically and today, and they continue to provide sources of wisdom and strength for many of their women adherents, in ways that are often ignored or denied by secular critics of religion,” said Professor Beattie.

The conference is open to all who have an interest in the subject area. The themes on the first two days are likely to appeal mainly to academic audiences, but the third day is aimed at community representatives and others with an interest in how dialogue and understanding can contribute to the participation of Christian and Muslim women in leadership both in public life and in religious institutions and organisations.

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