‘Why Women Doing Theology Matters for Everyone: Sexual Violence, Tainted Legacies, and the Integrity of Anabaptist Theology’
The 2023 Annual Lecture by the Centre for Anabaptist Studies will be given by Dr Fran Porter, with the title ‘Why Women Doing Theology Matters for Everyone: Sexual Violence, Tainted Legacies, and the Integrity of Anabaptist Theology’.
How do we respond to the now public knowledge of the sexual abuse carried out by the twentieth century’s leading pacifist Mennonite theologian? The tainted legacies we are left with raise questions not only about the content of theology but also about the way theology is done. This lecture will explore why women doing theology matters as part of the process of theology-making. It will consider how the notion of taint is refracted through gender power relations to apply differently to women than to men and how this hinders reception of women’s theological contributions. It will argue that women doing theology matters for everyone and, further, is necessary for the integrity of Anabaptist theology in the wake of sexual violence.
Dr Fran Porter is Chair of Academic Oversight Committee and Senior Research Fellow at IBTS, Amsterdam. As a researcher, she has conducted or contributed to projects for the University of Ulster, the Centre for Contemporary Christianity in Ireland, the Irish School of Ecumenics, Queen’s University Belfast, the Irish Peace Centres, Coventry University, and the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham. Much of this work has been interdisciplinary in nature, exploring faith in the contexts of gender power relations, social diversity and sectarian conflict. She describes such research work, which often involves an empirical component, as socially engaged theology, exploring the church’s mission and relationship to wider society.
Among Fran’s publications is Women and Men After Christendom: The Dis-Ordering of Gender Relationships (Paternoster, 2015). With colleagues from the Anabaptist Theology Forum, she is currently working on how we deal with tainted Anabaptist theological legacies.
This lecture will be delivered at Bristol Baptist College and livestreamed online. The Eventbrite is for you to sign up to receive a link to view the livestream. We regret that due to space constraints it is not possible for you to attend the lecture in person.
The lecture will also be recorded and available to view online after the event.