Women in Public Worship and the Feminine Form
When: June 11, 2021, 9:00 am - Friday
Where: Ezell 234
This session will take a look at the social construction of women’s bodies and experiences through a phenomenological lens. Panelists examine and critique the meaning of femaleness in various settings. From health to religious contexts, they seek to answer questions like “What meanings do women assign to leadership opportunities in a West Texas congregation?”, and “What does it mean to be a ‘proper’ menstruating woman?”
Andrea Thornton, Saint Louis University, “Gender Performance Technology and the Containment of Biological Sex: An Essay in Post-phenomenology and Feminist Theory”
Judith Butler’s theory of gender as a collection of formative actions to construct a heteronormative gender binary for social order rather than “natural” expression of biological sex has been extraordinarily helpful for identifying a kind of social oppression. A blind spot in her analysis, though, is precisely how this oppression is enacted in the body. What I propose here, through a use of post-phenomenology, is that gender oppression is possible because of gender-forming technologies. Advancements in technology make possible the illusion of constant allure through suppressing natural biological functions.
Shannon Clarkson Rains, Lubbock Christian University, Jennifer Dabbs, Lubbock Christian University and Kaley Ihfe, Independent Scholar, “The Meanings Women Assign to Inclusion in Public Worship Roles at Broadway Church of Christ”
In February 2019 Broadway Church of Christ announced a change of policy that opened all public leadership roles, except preaching or serving as an elder, to women. By July 2019, the policy was fully implemented and women were serving publicly in worship, many for the first time in their lives. With this in mind, a phenomenological study was conducted in order to document the meanings women assign to their new leadership opportunities for the church’s historical purposes. In addition, the information gleaned from this research may help congregational leaders in other churches as they implement their own policy changes.
Tiffany Dahlman, Abilene Christian University, Convener
- Shannon Clarkson Rains, Jennifer Dabbs, and Kaley Ihfe, Lubbock Christian University and Independent Scholar, “The Meanings Women Assign to Inclusion in Public Worship Roles at Broadway Church of Christ”
- Andrea Thornton, St. Louis University, “Gender Performance Technology and the Containment of Biological Sex: An Essay in Post-phenomenology and Feminist Theory”