President: Prof. Dr. Adriana Valerio
Dipartimento Discipline Storiche
Universitá degli Studi Federico II
v. Marina 33, 80133 Napoli


Contents: President’s report

Networking report (Dzintra Ilisko)

Information about the conference in Naples

Conference programme

Journal 17/ 2009

Journal: Some ideas for the future

Contribution of the French section: Edda Kozul-Tardieu, “Comment comprendre l’Eglise autrement ?”

News from the countries

Related Information



Report of the president Adriana Valerio (2003-2007)


the last four years, in which I have been president of ESWTR, I would
like to stress some commitments, most of all to promote
and encourage a deeper participation of the Latin countries in ESWTR


*           I worked to strengthen the relationships with Spain. On February 20th
2004 in Madrid, I met Prof. Elisa Estevez, president of the Spanish
female theologians, and Prof. Esperanza Bautista, the ESWTR Spanish
contact person,
to encourage more Spanish colleagues to join the ESWTR Spanish Section.
This work has been successful: the number of the registered members has
increased and many Spanish colleagues have agreed to take part in the
meeting at Naples in 2007.

*           I had closer contacts with the French group. I met the French colleagues twice: on May 6th 2006 (personal meeting) and on February 9th-10th 2007 (with the entire ESWTR Board).

there are still many problems hindering an increase in the number of
French female theologians within
the ESWTR French Section. Anyhow, the new French contact person,
Michele Jeunet, will take part at the meeting in Naples in 2007, where
action will be taken during the Round Table.

*           I
worked with Marinella Perroni and with other Italian colleagues at the
foundation of CTI (Coordinamento Teologhe Italiane: Italian
Female Theologians Coordination
), created on June 26th 2003 and presided over by Marinella Perroni.

*           CTI organised a very successful
international meeting in Rome (March 30
th – April 1st 2006).
The subject was “Female theologians: in which Europe?” The meeting was
attended by 160 female theologians from 20 European countries. It
offered an occasion for reflecting on and discussing the possibility of
a concrete, fruitful interlinking between social life and theology.
During the meeting I presented a report on the ESWTR’s current
situation, also
reminding us of its history and distinctiveness.

*           Together
with Marinella Perroni
I am organising the next international ESWTR meeting, which will be the
first one organised in Italy. The meeting will be held in Vico Equense
(District of Naples) on August 29
th – September 2nd 2007.

*           Concerning my commitment to
strengthening the relationships with Eastern Europe:

– I presented the Introductory Report during the Regional Meeting held in Bulgaria (August 25th-29th 2004).

– I presided over the meeting in Budapest (August 2005).

– I presented the Introductory Report during the Regional Meeting in Prague (August 10th -13th 2006).


president of the ESWTR I also pressed for the celebration of the ESWTR
Jubilee. I asked for a commemorative medal to be struck and
I helped Prof. Irmtraud Fischer to organise the celebration, which was
held in Graz (on May 19
th – 22nd
2006). I would like to underline the magnificent work of Irmtraud
Fischer as regards the organisation
of the meeting and the involvement of many important male and female
institutional representatives. The medal has been created by a female
artist just for this occasion and was distributed in Graz. To give
further opportunities
to other colleagues, I have already planned the striking of new medals,
which will be handed out during the meeting in Naples.


president of the ESWTR I have aimed to strengthen the presence of
female theological thought in Europe, to create a real co-operation
process – with everybody keeping her/his own difference – and to give
value to a dynamic exegesis of the Scriptures and the Tradition (see
the Newsletter 2003).

I started a new publication, Archivio per la Storia delle Donne (An Archive for History of Women). The first and second volumes contained some works written by ESWTR colleagues. This publication is open to further works
from the ESWTR.

Together with Prof. Irmtraud Fischer (former ESWTR president), I started a new international project, The Bible and the Women.
According to our plan, starting from the year 2008, 20 volumes (one or
two per year) will be published and translated into Italian,
German, English and Spanish. The project’s General Editors will be
Adriana Valerio, Irmtraud Fischer, Mercedes Navarro and Jorunn Økland.
It will involve many European female scholars specialised in the fields
Exegesis and the History of Exegesis. Any colleagues who are interested in joining us can contact one of the four above-mentioned editors.

The project The Bible and the Women will be presented in Geneva on June 27th 2007 during the 1st International Congress organised by the Pasquale Valerio Foundation for History of Women, which supports it financially.

The first Colloquium will be held in Graz (on October 4th – 7th 2007) and will be about the Torah (see the attached programme).

The Bible and the Women
is an attempt to bring to life a European project where different works
and different thoughts can be accepted for publication, which in this
way – with the appropriate vigour – celebrate female
creativity in the theological field, which is one of the most important
distinguishing features of our association.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


International relationships ESWTR

Representation of ESWTR at the Cumberland Lodge, UK

Dzintra Ilisko


I am
happy to inform you that I was privileged to be a participant at a
conference on “Religious Traditions and Innovation in the
Post Soviet World: a Case for Revival or Rejection” at Cumberland
Lodge, United Kingdom, from Jan. 31 – Feb. 2, representing ESWTR.
Cumberland Lodge is a unique organisation that provides space for
academic discussion
on contemporary issues in morality, ethics, spirituality, and society.
Representatives included members of various organisations, journalists,
artists, politicians, clergy, ambassadors, NGOs, social workers,
theologians, musicians,
and academics from Russia, the UK and Serbia.

conference covered a wide range of issues in the religious revival in
the post-Soviet world, such as interfaith and ecumenical issues.
The revival of religion in the post-Soviet world took place when
traditions were not only rejected and challenged, but also when
“traditions were ‘resurrected’ for innovative purposes in building
national identities
or claiming a connection with the pre-Christian past.”

following issues were the central focus of the discussion: the role of
religion in policy and human rights, politicisation of religion,
art and religion, the issue of religious identities, the role of women
in religion and patriarchy.

Discussions were held about the situation of the Church, which confronts ‘a metamorphosis
– a process of transformation into an institution that serves the needs
of the contemporary world. By challenging the traditional beliefs
and presuppositions ‘we can begin only by loosening the threads of the
cocoon-weakening the shell of the egg so that the transformation can
take place more easily’.

traditions will not change overnight in Eastern Europe, but it is only
when we appropriate the liberating sources of our tradition
that we begin to identify with the struggles of the past and recognise
God’s presence. It will enable us to keep struggling towards a
liberated and sustainable future. A liberating tradition always
undergoes creative transformation.
An oppressive tradition tries to maintain itself unchanged, protecting
itself from critical examination. New contexts can help men and women
to define themselves and become aware of their humanity, capacities,
desires and

discussion at the conference was also about the power of women’s
networks in redefining an agenda and constituency of feminist
theology. This opens up the other half of social reality, which has
been ignored by discovering and uncovering facts from women’s lives,
and experiences, facts that have been hidden, inaccessible, suppressed,
misunderstood and ignored.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Conference in Naples: Becoming “Living Communities”


From August 29th – September 2nd 2007 we will meet in Vico Equense (District of Naples, Italy) for the ESWTR International Meeting. Vico Equense is a small city just 10 minutes from Sorrento and Pompeii. It is a very lovely place, quiet and safe. The Hotel Oriente will host us. It is a distinctive hotel, leaning on the rock and looking from the cliff to the sea.

stress the significance of the topic, we have prepared a special logo;
depicting life breaking out from the collision of the different
elements of nature (the soil, the water, the light, and the air)
symbolised by different colours.

the participants at the Meeting, I am very pleased to inform all of you
that, for the first time, there will be more Italian
(21) and Spanish (15) colleagues than in the past. At the present time,
we have registered 91 ESWTR members.

ESWTR members have asked for financial support. We are doing our best
to let all of them come. In accordance with the financial support
we receive, we will give notice in time to the interested persons.

The official languages of the meeting will be English, German, Italian and Spanish.

you will find the programme of the Meeting and the list of participants
(arranged by nationality). We ask the colleagues who have
sent their registration to be so kind as to check if their own name has
been inserted in the list. We invite those who do not find their names
registered to report this to us at this email address:

To get more information and to get updates on the Meeting, you can connect to the web site: The web site will be operative within a few days.



1. Since we had many requests to hold mini lectures, and it is impossible for all these colleagues to hold them,
we thought we would insert their lectures within the subject groups.

Concerning the “Conversation on the beach” (see the programme), we are
thinking of a time when we will have
the possibility to express freely our considerations about our daily
work. We will create different groups according to the various


Conference programme

Becoming “Living Communities”

Vico Equense (Naples), 29th August – 2nd September 2007









“Living the Life”






Morning Ritual

Morning Ritual

Morning Ritual

Morning Ritual










 Theology of Life




Thinking Life

 (F. Brezzi I)


 Female Genealogy

 in O.T.

(I.Fischer A)



Genealogía e identidad de mujeres

 (M. Navarro E)




General Assembly

Round Table

The Churches as living communities

(M. Jeunet F,

L. TomassoneI, K.Veiteberg NV,

S. Noceti I)



















Women and Citizenship

(C. Militello I)



Exclusion and Citizenship

(C. Simonelli I)


Discipleship of Equals: Vision and Reality in Early Christianity

(E. Schüssler Fiorenza USA)




(E. Giannarelli I)





General Assembly



Living Bible

(L. Sutter-Rehmann CH

M. Perroni I

















Final Blessing











Mini Lectures


 (J.Hallamaa FIN,

E. Adamtzi G)


Community of Life in the memory of the Holy women

(V. Ferrari Schiefer CH)




Book Market

Sight-seeing: Pompeii

Mini Lectures

Eco-feminism and surroundings

(E. Green I)


The liveable city

(C. Cifatte I)







Coffee- break


Coffee break



Contact Persons


Subject Groups


Subject Groups





on the beach


on the beach


 on the beach





(A. Valerio)






Dinner (Board)



Special Dinner







Preparation groups

Party organised by all national groups




Evening Ritual





* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Information on the discussion group: Living Bible

Why it is necessary and dangerous to translate the Bible today?

Christl Maier, Ursula Rapp and Luzia Sutter Rehmann


We want to present the new translation into German: Bibel in gerechter Sprache, Gütersloh 2006. (Hg.
von Ulrike Bail, Frank Crüsemann, Marlene Crüsemann, Erhard Domay,
Jürgen Ebach, Claudia Janssen, Hanne Köhler, Helga Kuhlmann, Martin
Leutzsch und Luise
and to share our experiences with you.

The BigS (Bibel in gerechter Sprache, “Bible in just/inclusive language”)
is a new attempt alongside existing German translations. It is
different from these others not only in terms of its profile, but
because right from the beginning it makes this profile clear
There is no one single correct translation. As with every attempt to
understand what is foreign and strange, background and perspectives
play a crucial role. The BigS has its roots in liberation theology,
feminist theology
and the Christian-Jewish dialog.

In addition to the aim of every translation to do justice to the original text, “justice” is especially intended in three ways:

– gender justice: making it clear that women are involved in the events and experiences of biblical texts, and how
they are involved, and that these texts related to women then and still do so today;

– justice in relation to the Christian-Jewish dialog, i.e. the point is that this should be a translation that attempts
to do without anti-Jewish interpretations;

– social justice that points out social realities in the wording of the translation.


BigS does not always use the grammatical male gender when referring to
God. Most (male and female) readers of the Bible have become
used to knowing in a basic and abstract way that God is not male, while
at the same time still imagining God to be male in their internal and
external images. This imposes restrictive and questionable limits on
God’s vast

includes making visible the fact that in the Bible God has a name. In
the Old Testament, this name is written YHWH. Instead of
this unpronounceable name, other names were being used early on to
replace it, such as Adonaj, Ha-shem and Adoshem. This makes the
theological task clear: to find, instead of God’s own name, a name or
term with a responsible
rationale. Nowadays the German word “Herr” is used to refer to any man,
and is associated with masculinity and with rule over others. Adonaj,
however, is a form used only to refer to God – apart from a plural
form, meaning
literally, “Gentlemen.” By contrast, the Hebrew root
adon– means “to judge, create justice.”

BigS proposes both feminine and masculine replacement names and makes
them clearly visible: “der Ewige” (“the Eternal One”
in the German grammatical male form), “die Ewige” (“the Eternal One” in
the German grammatical female form), “Schechina” (“the Name”), “der
Lebendige” (“the Living One” in the male form), “die Lebendige”
(“the Living One” in the female form), “DU” (“YOU”), “der Eine” (“the
One” in the male form), “die Eine” (“the One” in the female form), “die
Heilige” (“the Holy One” in the female form),
“der Heilige” (“the Holy One” in the male form) and other forms.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


"Women in Interfaith Dialog"

Journal of the ESWTR no. 17 (2009)

Edited by Annette Esser, Annette Mehlhorn et al.


Journal of the ESWTR 2008 will be dedicated to the commitment and
experiences of women in interfaith dialog and the associated feminist
theological questions.

women who have already tackled this field and have suggestions for the
compendium, or would like to make a contribution themselves,
are requested to contact one of the current editors:


Annette Esser

Fridolinstr. 76

D-50825 Köln

Tel.: +49 (0)221-7088827



Annette Mehlhorn

Pfarrgasse 4

D-65428 Rüsselsheim

Tel.: +49 (0)6142-62602

Fax: +49 (0)6142-172988



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Some Ideas for the Future of the Journal of the ESWTR

Sabine Bieberstein and Ursula Rapp


In the
summer of 2007, we are planning to have a new co-ordinating editor for
the Journal. At this point, but independent of the question
of a new editor, we want to consider some aspects about the future of
the Journal.

On the
one hand, the Journal is an important forum for academic exchange
between the members of the ESWTR and at the same time is a
major organ of the ESWTR through which the Society participates in
international academic discourse. On the other hand, we notice that few
people know about the Journal of the ESWTR, many libraries have not
taken out a subscription,
there are still hardly any reviews of it, and articles published in it
are obviously little read, or at least they are hardly cited anywhere.
In this respect, the Journal shares the fate of other interdisciplinary
and magazines to a certain degree. However this cannot be satisfactory
in the longer term, because such a situation is not at all commensurate
with the tremendous amount of work put into the Journal, both by the
editors and
by the authors (who of course want their articles to be read), and
neither does it match the situation we could wish for: namely that the
Journal of the ESWTR could be
the forum for European gender studies in theology and religious studies.

this point, some ideas should be put forward for discussion, which we
wish to go into in more detail at the next General Meeting
at the international conference in Naples.

– Do our perceptions match yours? To answer this, we have to know more about how the Journal is received by the members,
what they value about it and what they would like to see in it.

– To
us it seems desirable to have a stronger thematic profile for each
volume, so that the articles it contains
attract more attention and can be found again. One step in this
direction might be greater concentration. To be specific, a Journal
might be published only once every two years, but the content of this
volume would have a
well-defined profile. This Journal would be the continuation of the
Journals that currently appear between the conferences. For the
conference contributions other types of publications could be found,
possibly an Internet
forum or through publication in related forums (e.g. lectio

– An academic advisory board could support the work on the concept and the thematic profiling of each volume.

– The work involved in publishing would urgently have to be divided amongst more shoulders and as far as possible
localised at institutes that can employ paid helpers for the immense amount of editing work.

We are eagerly looking forward to the continuing discussion!

Sabine Bieberstein and Ursula Rapp


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Comment comprendre l’Eglise autrement?

Edda Kozul-Tardieu


apaiser et vivifier les rapports des chrétiens entre eux et leurs liens
au monde, il n’est pas hors de propos de scruter
les textes fondateurs. Pour activer les comportements possibles
aujourd’hui, dans la fidélité à la tradition et l’ouverture à
l’histoire dans nos expériences personnelles et collectives,
la confrontation entre l’enracinement historique et l’ancrage
existentiel génère une récréation permanente sans exclusive.



monolithique, rigide, traditionnelle (répétitive), théocentrique et
l’Eglise a voulu, après Vatican II, donner sa place à l’Humain, le
re-situer en quelque sorte dans le but de rééquilibrer la part de Dieu
et la part de l’Humain. Deux camps se sont alors constitués
et souvent confrontés : l’un, conservateur, les chrétiens
traditionalistes voire intégristes-schismatiques, l’autre moderniste :
les chrétiens « de progrès ».

avons parfois fantasmé sur une Eglise unie des premiers temps du
Christianisme où tout semblait idyllique dans le
surgissement du « nouveau ». Pourtant dès les premiers siècles, les
difficultés apparurent, témoins les premiers conciles : il fallait
faire des choix, trancher et quelquefois aussi
apaiser les antagonismes.

A la
source du Christianisme, deux mouvements s’opposent. Deux vues
réductrices du mystère de Dieu fait Homme (Humain :
anthropos). Celle de l’école d’Antioche met l’accent sur l’humanité
autonome du Christ à laquelle est attribué le mérite du Salut. Cet
aspect nous laisse en présence d’un
« humanisme » clos où l’homme se met à « imiter » Dieu. Celle de
l’école d’Alexandrie, au contraire, nous expose un « divinisme » clos
où l’histoire serait
éclipsée par une sorte d’impatience à ne voir que la transfiguration
tout de suite.

tradition alexandrine, plus mystique, donne un sens plus allégorique
aux Ecritures. A Antioche, la pratique prend le pas sur
les idées, le réalisme sur le spiritualisme. Les premiers conciles ont
tenté de répondre à ces premiers questionnements qui se traduisaient en
fait par des affirmations. Les controverses
pouvaient conduire à des heurts violents (brigandage d’Ephèse en 449 :
l’évêque d’Alexandrie en appelle aux moines et aux soldats qui
malmènent les évêques obligés
de signer la destitution de Flavien et d’Eusèbe).

Le Concile de Chalcédoine produit une brillante définition incontestablement œcuménique. Les germes de division
n’en seront pas abolis pour autant.


Chalcédoine – Paradoxe dogmatique – Concile modérateur et médiateur

Une attitude récurrente dans l’histoire de l’Eglise consiste à buter depuis le début du Christianisme sur l’hypervalorisation
de l’un ou de l’autre des deux éléments constitutifs de la personne du Christ : nature divine et nature humaine.

les premiers siècles, arianisme, hérésie nestorienne ou hérésie
monophysite furent à
l’origine de la nécessité de mettre en forme une profession de foi
relative à Celui de la Trinité dont « l’événement unique et singulier
de l’Incarnation ne signifie pas
que Jésus Christ soit en partie Dieu et en partie homme, ni le résultat
du mélange confus entre le divin et l’humain. Il s’est fait vraiment
homme en restant vraiment Dieu. Jésus Christ est
vrai Dieu et vrai Homme ».

c’est la pression populaire qui a joué en faveur d’un équilibre et on
souligne que le « sens
chrétien » du peuple a eu raison des subtilités des spécialistes.
Ainsi, une formulation a pu se fixer à Chalcédoine en 451, grâce à la
disponibilité d’esprit
du Pape Léon I – Rome soutient les Antiochiens – et à l’intelligent
arbitrage théologique de Pulchérie, princesse byzantine.

Malgré son caractère de mystère, la Christologie de Chalcédoine recevait déjà une sorte de
confirmation de la
loi commune. « Chaque
totalité et particulièrement celle qui résulte d’une synthèse
d’éléments différents, tout en gardant dans une unité parfaite
de son hypostase, comporte la différenciation sans confusion de ses
parties intégrantes. C’est ainsi qu’elle sauvegarde sans falsification
la raison essentielle et particulière de chacun de ses membres.
Inversement, les parties, tout en gardant dans leur synthèse leur
raison naturelle sans mélange ni diminution, maintiennent sans division
possible l’unique identité de leur totalité
 ». Tel est l’énoncé théorique de cette loi générale citée par Maxime le Confesseur.

définition issue de la controverse n’en respecte pas moins le mystère
de la personne du Christ parce que nulle part
elle n’exprime ce qu’est l’Union de l’Homme et de Dieu dans le Seul et
Même Christ ; elle se limite à renvoyer dos à dos ou face à face les
tenants des affirmations contraires en précisant
minutieusement ce que cette Union n’est pas : sans confusion, sans
changement, sans division, sans séparation.

Impossible de radicaliser l’Homme-Dieu.

de cantonner le Christ à sa seule expérience historique et restreindre
notre histoire chrétienne à
une pâle imitation morale de Jésus de Nazareth ; mais aussi impossible
de circonscrire l’humain et sa liberté créatrice participante de son
histoire à une conception qui « tend
à idéaliser cet homme véritable et sa dimension humaine si bien que
même dans sa nature humaine il apparaît comme un demi-dieu au lieu
d’être la Parole de Dieu pour nous, justement
parce qu’il avait choisi de partager la réalité et la destinée d’une
vraie personne historique, la mort incluse ».

certaines orientations christologiques se sont détournées de
Chalcédoine en considérant parfois le Christ
comme une simple « personne humaine en laquelle Dieu agit et se
révèle », Karl Rahner a voulu pour sa part insister sur le fait qu’« 
on ne saurait se passer de la définition de Chalcédoine, mais qu’il fallait y voir « non seulement un point d’arrivée mais un point de départ ».


Chalcédoine – Théologie pratique

Comment réconcilier l’Orient et l’Occident ? Nos Orients et nos Occidents individuels et collectifs ?

Une formulation comme celle de Chalcédoine n’est pas une formulation en soi mais une formulation pour nous.

Comment gérer notre spiritualité et notre histoire, comment relier Dieu et l’humain pour les libérer de leurs
solitudes et nous libérer de la tentation de fusion des deux principes ?

tenir Dieu à l’écart du monde ? Fusionner en Lui, devenir transparents,
passifs, absents aux problèmes
humains ou être trop présents « à notre façon » pour régler les
problèmes. Faut-il plier Dieu à notre monde et le diluer dans nos
histoires humaines ?

dernière tentation naît lorsque les acteurs des conflits
économico-politiques tentent de fédérer
autour du phénomène religieux et engendrent des pseudo-guerres de
religions qui viennent nourrir les antagonismes. Cette dernière
tentation naît aussi lorsque des communautés aux comportements
classiques confisquent Dieu au profit de leurs idéologies.

formulation de Chalcédoine qui "ne vaut pas pour elle-même, mais par
elle-même" est un outil pacificateur
pour conserver le lien entre la nature visible et invisible de la
relation de Dieu à l’homme, de l’homme à Dieu, des hommes entre eux.

Mystère de Dieu et mystère de la liberté humaine engagent les croyants à changer le cours des événements,
Dieu est mouvement et non inertie.

Chalcédoine, union de l’inaccessible – distance transcendante – et de l’indispensable – distance historique – nous
invite à réaliser par notre liberté dans la nouveauté de l’Esprit les réconciliations de mondes à recréer plus humains.

ne faut-il pas interpréter Vatican II comme une fidélité à
Chalcédoine ? En replaçant
l’Humain dans le jeu, le Concile a voulu affranchir l’Eglise de son
théocentrisme théocratique ; a-t-il voulu pour autant instaurer un
anthropocentrisme anthropocratique ?

l’anthropologie reste le lieu de la théologie, la christologie induit
une approche dialogale permanente entre Dieu et l’Humain,
elle nous prémunit à la fois contre la tentation du repli archaïque et
la tentation de la fuite folle en avant. Elle nous invite à concevoir
une théologie inventive attentive aux deux extrêmes
de la race humaine : l’individu et l’humanité, Dieu restant l’objet
formel de toute théologie.

Elle nous invite aussi à libérer Dieu – prisonnier de nos histoires humaines et otage de nos conflits – pour revenir
au principe de l’Union sans confusion de Dieu et de l’Humain qui ouvre toute relation dans le Subtil : l’Esprit Saint.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


News from the countries


Austria (contact person: Livia Neureiter)

Good news from Vienna: Marianne Grohmann has become the first female Protestant theologian in Austria to complete a Habilitation
(lecturer’s thesis) on the subject of the “Old Testament” at the
Protestant Theological Faculty of the University of Vienna. Her
entitled “Fruchtbarkeit und Geburt in den Psalmen” (Fertility and Birth
in the Psalms) will be published in the autumn of 2007 in “Forschungen
zum Alten Testament” by Mohr Siebeck in Tübingen.

Marianne Grohmann will be a Fulbright scholar at the University of Berkeley, California, until June 2007.



Tora Research Colloquium

for the Encyclopaedia of exegesis and history of culture

The Bible and the Women, vol. 1


October 4th to 7th, 2007, at Karl-Franzens University, Graz

hosted by Univ. Prof. Dr. Irmtraud Fischer, Graz,

Univ. Prof. Dr. Mercedes Navarro, Salamanca


programme with tentative titles in English (NB: lectures will be held
in four languages; English abstracts will be available):


Thursday, October 4th

Arrival of participants


– Opening lecture at the Jewish Cultural Centre, Irmtraud Fischer, Mercedes Navarro, Jorunn Okland and Adriana Valerio

– Gender and Cult: Clean and Unclean as Gender-Relevant Categories, Prof. Dr. Dorothea Erbele-Küster, B


Friday, October 5th


– Introduction: Tora in the Context of the Jewish and Christian Concept of Canon, Prof. Dr. Donatella Scaiola, I, Prof. Dr. Irmtraud Fischer, A

– Genealogical Historiography Prof. Dr. Thomas Hieke, D


– Created male and female: Gender-relevant Texts of Primeval History Prof. Dr. Mercedes Navarro Puerto, E

– The Female Saviours of the Saviour of Israel Ex. 1-3 Dr. Jopie Siebert-Hommes, NL

– Zippora and Traditions Around Moses Wife Dr. Ursula Rapp, A


Saturday, October 6th


– The Parents of Israel Prof. Dr. Irmtraud Fischer, A

– Miriam, Political Leading Figure in the Exodus Prof. Dr. Mercedes García Bachmann, ARG


– Women and Law in the Tora Prof. Dr. Karin Finsterbusch, D

– The Position of Women in Ancient Oriental Legal Texts and Documents, Prof. Dr. Sophie Lafont, F


Sunday, Oct. 7th


– What Archaeology Can Tell Us About Female Living Contexts, Prof. Dr. Carol L. Meyers, USA

– Bible and Iconography Prof. Dr. Silvia Schroer, CH


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Germany (Contact person: Judith Hartenstein)


National ESWTR annual conference 2006

The 2006 annual conference of the German Section was entitled “Kinder haben – KindSein – GeborenSein. Auch eine Geburtstagsfeier für Hannah Arendt” and held in Gelnhausen from 17-19 November 2006. At this annual conference we also celebrated
the foundation of the ESWTR twenty years ago and ESWTR medals were presented to the former members of the Board.


Changes in the Standing Committee and Advisory Board

On the
Sunday of the conference, i.e. on 19 November, the German Section held
its AGM, which was principally concerned with electing
the Standing Committee. Katharina Friebe (clerk) left the Standing
Committee after six years. She is succeeded by Franziska Friebe from
Münster. The following women stood for re-election: Prof. Dr. Helga
Kuhlmann (Chair),
Dr. Angela Kaupp (Vice chair and contact person for Germany), Dr.
Katrin Brockmöller (treasurer) and Dr. Ilona Nord (additional member).

Ursula Silber and Prof. Dr. Martha Zechmeister left the Advisory Board;
they are succeeded by Prof. Dr. Angela Berlis and Prof.
Dr. Angelika Strotmann.


Personal details

Honorary doctorate for Prof. Dr. D. Luise Schottroff

department of Protestant Theology at the Philipps University of Marburg
will award Prof. Dr. Luise Schottroff an honorary doctorate
at a ceremony in the Alte Universität on 18 April 2007 at 4 p.m.

Schottroff has been professor of New Testament studies in Mainz,
Kassel, Berkeley (USA) and New York. In her academic work over the
last thirty years she has provided seminal impulses for the development
of social-history-based exegesis, the Christian-Jewish dialog and above
all for the initiation and development of feminist theology. Prof.
will be honoured in particular for:

– her contribution to the development of social-history-based interpretation of the Bible;

– her contribution to feminist exegesis and hermeneutics, and the development of a feminist liberation theology in

– her decisive commitment to the Christian-Jewish dialog;

– her initiatives for institutionalising and networking feminist theological research, e.g. at the founding of the
European Society of Women in Theological Research (ESWTR, in 1986);

– her initiative and work as editor in the basic feminist theological works: Wörterbuch Feministische Theologie
(1991. Reprinted 2000) and Kompendium Feministische Bibelauslegung (1998);

– her initiative and work as editor of the “Bibel in gerechter Sprache” (2006).

– As
early as the 1960s Prof. Schottroff was a member of the “Alte
Marburger,” a study group associated with
the New Testament scholar Rudolf Bultmann. Since that time there has
been much diverse research contact with the Marburg Theological
Faculty. In 2006 she lead an international research seminar at the
Philipps University of
Marburg attended by students from the Union Theological Seminary, New
York, and teaching staff and students from Marburg.

Habilitation [lecturer’s thesis]

– Dr. Elisabeth Naurath (practical theology/religious pedagogy) in October 2006; entitled: Habilitationsschrift: Mit Gefühl gegen Gewalt. Mitgefühl als Schlüssel ethischer Bildung in der Religionspädagogik


New positions

– After 3.5 years at Yale University in the USA, Dr. Christl M. Maier will take up a chair in the Old Testament in Marburg at the beginning of the year.

– On 1 March 2007 Dr. Ulrike Bechmann became professor of religious studies at the Catholic Theol. Faculty at Karl-Franzens University in Graz.

– Dr. Ursula Rudnick has been awarded the title of Professor by the University of Hanover.



Dipl. theol. Andrea Qualbrink,
a member of the academic staff at the department of Theological Gender
Research at the Catholic Theological Faculty in Münster, has been
awarded the “Frauenförderpreis” prize by the
Westphalian Wilhelms University of Münster. The prize is worth €20,000.


Publications and new works

– Bieler, Andrea/Schottroff, Luise, Das Abendmahl. Essen zum Leben. Gütersloh, April 2007.

– Edelbrock, Anke,
Mädchenbildung und Religion in Kaiserreich und Weimarer Republik. Eine
Untersuchung zum evangelischen Religionsunterricht und zur
Vereinsarbeit der Religionslehrerinnen, Neukirchen-Vluyn 2006.

– Klappenecker, Gabriele,
Offenheit für die Fülle der Erscheinungen : das Werk Otto Friedrich
Bollnows und seine Bedeutung für eine phänomenologisch orientierte
Religionspädagogik, Stuttgart 2007.

– Naurath, Elisabeth, Mit Gefühl gegen Gewalt. Mitgefühl als Schlüssel ethischer Bildung in der Religionspädagogik, Neukirchen 2007.

– Schottroff, Luise/ Butting, Klara, Gütter, Ruth/ Bieler Andrea/ Minnaard, Geraard (eds.), Das Imperium kehrt zurück. Das Imperium in der Bibel und als Herausforderung für die Ökumene heute, Erev Rav 2006.


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Greece (contact person: Eleni Kasselouri-Hatzivassiliadi)


Eleni Kasselouri-Hatzivassiliadi
(b. 1968) is a Greek Orthodox theologian. She holds a Master’s degree
and a PhD in New Testament Hermeneutics. She teaches ‘religious
education’ in a state school. She collaborates as a researcher
and educator with the Department of Psychology and Pedagogics of the
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (in programmes (research and
post-graduate) concerning the gender factor in education). She has been
a member of the
steering group of a World Council of Churches process on
Women’s Voices and Visions: Being Church (2003-2006).
She is a member of the editorial committee of Lectio Difficilior
(European Electronic Journal for Feminist Exegesis). She was
Vice-President of European Society of Women in Theological Research
from 1999-2001. She is married and the mother of three children.


Her publications include:

– “Women and Orthodox Spirituality,” in Re-visioning Our Sources. Women’s Spirituality in European Perspectives, Annette Esser/ Anne Hunt Overzee/ Susan Roll (eds.) (Champion: OKK Pharisee),
1997, pp.76-85.

– “Authority in Tradition (Reflections on Tradition and the role of women in the Orthodox Church)”, Yearbook of ESWTR 8 (2000) pp. 101-110.

– Feminist Hermeneutics. The “Gender” Factor in Modern Biblical Hermeneutics (Pournaras Publications: Thessaloniki) 2003 (in Greek).

– “Community of Women and Men: Galatians 3:23-29”, in Women’s Ways of Being Church. A Bible Study Guide, J. Shannon Clarkson/Letty M. Russell (eds.), (Geneva: W.C.C. Publications) 2004, pp. 33-37.

– «Recapturing the Sacred: An Orthodox Response to Anne-Marie Korte» Yearbook of ESWTR 12 (2004) pp. 37-45.

– “Women and the proclamation of the Gospel in the New Testament” (forthcoming in an international publication
by J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), Tübingen (Germany) Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.

– “The gender factor in contemporary orthodox biblical research. A presentation of the Greek orthodox context”
in Yearbook No. 13 of the European Society of Women in Theological Research which is to appear in January/February 2006.


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Poland (Contac person: Elzbieta Adamiak)


Joanna Kierstejn, Małgorzata Grzywacz

Bereits vor einem Jahr (5-6.02.06) tagten in
Poznan (Polen) auf Initiative der hiesigen Ortsgruppe von ESWTR zum
ersten Mal Christinnen aus den Hauptkirchen des Landes. Unabhängig von
allen formellen
Strukturen, trafen sich mehrere Frauen mit dem Ziel, eine gemeinsame
Diskussionsplattform zu schaffen und einen Beitrag zur Intensivierung
der bestehenden Ansätze zur Zusammenarbeit zu leisten. Dass eine solche
so schnell Früchte trägt, freut uns alle. Nun liegen diese in Buchform
vor und stellen bestimmt einen wichtigen Beitrag in der Geschichte von
ESWTR in unserem Land dar.

Unter dem sehr breit formulierten Titel Geistige AnfälligkeitFrauen und die Erfahrung des Christentums x) präsentieren
die Autorinnen dieses Sammelbandes vor allem
die Vielperspektivität, aus welcher über diese Erfahrung geschrieben,
analysiert und nachgedacht wird. Die Palette der behandelten Themen
reicht von wichtigen historischen Zeuginnen des Glaubens (katholische
evangelische Seite), über intensive Auseinandersetzung mit der
Geschichte und Gegenwart der Berufungen der Christinnen im
katholischen, orthodoxen und evangelischen Verständnis. Vertreten sind
vor allem Theologinnen
und Studentinnen dieses Faches, Kulturwissenschaftlerinnen, eine
orthodoxe Pfarrfrau und eine ordinierte Diakonin der
evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche. Manche Texte lassen sich auch als
Zeugnisse eines lebendigen Glaubens lesen
und interpretieren. Das Buch schliesst mit kurzen Resümees in
englischer und deutscher Sprache.

Leider fehlen im Band eingehendere Analysen
des kommunitären Lebens seiner Erfahrung und Entwicklung sowohl auf der
katholischen als auch auf der evangelischen Seite. Mögliche Lücken,
die sich bei der Lektüre des Buches ergeben, bringen eher Probleme zum
Ausdruck, auf welche die Erforschug der Christentumsgeschichte als
Frauengeschichte in Mittel- und Osteuropa, somit auch in Polen, stößt.
Es ist für uns selbst noch eine terra incognita, die in ihren räumlichen und spirituellen Dimensionen erkundet, beschrieben und analysiert zu werden braucht.

x) Duchowa przypadłość. Kobiety a doświadczenie chrześcijaństwa, Hrsg. von Malgorzata Grzywacz i Joanna Kicman, Wydawnictwo Rys, Poznań 2007, ISBN 978-83-60517-09-3.


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Spain (Contact person: Esperanza Bautista)

The FEM (Foro de Estudios sobre la Mujer) has given four courses on “Ecumenism and Interreligious dialogue”, on March 6th, 13th and 17th 2006. The FEM also promoted a conference meeting on “Women in dialogue in Spain and Portugal”
on November 18
th 2006 and another one on “Women’s perspectives on Ecumenism and Interreligious dialogue”.

The FEM assisted and was represented by five women, members of the FEM, at the 7th General Assembly of the Ecumenical Forum of European Christian Women (EFECW), on August 21st, at Murten, Switzerland. The subject of the EFWCW´s message was “Overcoming Frontiers and Respecting Differences”.


The ATE (Asociación de Teólogas Españolas) had its 5th General Assembly on November 11th and 12th at Los Negrales (Madrid), with the subject “Memory, History and Gender”.

In collaboration with the editor Verbo Divino,
the ATE has initiated a new collection named “Aletheia” with the aim of
publishing feminist theological and gender studies
on its different lines, both in Spain and in other countries. Its
vocation is interdisciplinary and to be a way of co-operating on the
construction of a common space for women and men, in the church and in

The two first books have already appeared:

– Carmen Soto Varela (ed.), He visto al que me ve, Verbo Divino, Estella (Navarra) 2006. ISBN 84-8169-374-X – 987-84-8168-374-4.

– Kevin Madigan & Carolyn Siek, Mujeres ordenadas en la Iglesia primitiva. Una historia documentada, Verbo Divino, Estella (Navarra) 2006. ISBN 84-8169-375-8 – 987-84-8169-375-1


Individual Activities

– Bautista Parejo, Esperanza: comunicación
“Sexualidad versus Espiritualidad”, Asociación Interdisciplinar José
Acosta (ASINJA), Madrid, September 2006, and a lecture in a seminar on
“El origen del
mal y la armonía de la creación”, October 2006.

– Estévez López, Elisa, Género y teología: memoria, realidad y oportunidad, Crítica 923 (2005), 36-39. Exorcismos, desviación y exclusión. Una visión desde el Nuevo Testamento, en Martínez, J.L. (ed.), Exclusión social y discapacidad, Universidad Pontificia Comillas – Fundación prom., 2005, 183-212.

Interlocutoras de la sabiduría: Aportes de la teología de la liberaciónacrítico-feminista, en I. de Torres (ed.), Miradas desde la perspectiva de género. Estudios de las mujeres, Narcea, Madrid 2005, 77-87.

De la extrañeza a la familiaridad inclusiva y universal: La hospitalidad en el Nuevo Testamento, N. Martínez-Gayol, N. (ed.), Un espacio para la ternura. Miradas desde la teología, Universidad Pontificia Comillas – DDB, Madrid-Bilbao 2006, 109-158.

La mirada compasiva como elemento de cohesión social: Un punto de vista teológico, Ciencia Tomista 133 (2006) 101- 124.

Identidad social de las mujeres en los relatos de curación de los Hechos Apócrifos, en Calero, I. – Alfaro, V. (eds.), Las hijas de Eva: historia, tradición y simbología, Centro
de Ediciones de la Diputación de Málaga (CEDMA), Málaga 2006, 33-57.

Leadership femminile nelle comunità cristiane dell’Asia Minore, en A. Valerio (ed.), Donne e Bibbia. Storia ed esegesi, Dehoniane, Bologna 2006,

Descubrir al Dios de la misericordia: la experiencia de fe de un samaritano (Lc 17,11-19), en E. Estévez –F. Millán (eds), Soli Deo gloria, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid 2006, 143-157.

Para tu libertad bastan mis alas: Encuentros de Jacob con la divinidad,
en C. Soto (ed.), He visto al que me ve, Colección Aletheia, n.1, EVD,
Estella 2006, 93-125. Editorial, Reseña Bíblica 49 (2006). Coordinación
de todo el número.

Autoridad y liderazgo de las mujeres en las cartas auténticas de Pablo, Reseña Bíblica 49 (2006) 13-22.

Tiempos de mujeres en las tradiciones bíblicas, Crítica 933 (2006) 56-59. Tras las huellas de la experiencia orante de Jesús, Crítica 935 (2006) 24-27.

– Gómez Acebo, Isabel, has
edited and published in her own collection “En clave de Mujer”, an
older and already classic collection on women and gender studies,
Relectura del Éxodo, Desclée, Bilbao 2006. Also, in the same collection:

– Pilar de Miguel, Espiritualidad y fortaleza femenina, Desclée, Bilbao 2006.

– Mercedes Navarro, En el umbral. Muerte y Teología en perspectiva de mujer, Bilbao 2006.

– Rosa Cursach:
lecture, “Teología y feminismo: Aportes”, cátedra de Teología
Contemporánea, Madrid 2006. Curso “La veu de les dones Bibliques”,
Universidad de Barcelona 2006.
Two lessons: “La veu de les dones bibliques, hermenéutica crítica
feminista” and “La dona encorvada, qué diu?”


Mercedes Navarro Puerto

– Marcos, EVD (colección: Guías de Lectura del Nuevo Testamento), Estella 2006, 624 pp., ISBN 978-84-8169-365-2; €20

– “Reinterpreting the Past: Judith 5”, in Calduch-Benages, Núria and Liesen, Jan (eds.), History and Identity. How Israel’s Later Authors Viewed Its Earlier History, Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature, Yearbook 2006, W de G, Berlin-New
York, 2006, 115-140. ISBN 978-3-11-018660-4

– “El paso del mar: nacer muriendo”, en Gómez-Acebo, Isabel (ed.), Relectura del Éxodo, DDB (col. En clave de mujer), Bilbao 2006, 85-143. ISBN 84-330-2104-4, €18.27

– “La vida Religiosa: perspectiva, dimensiones, influjos y efectos” en AA.VV., 25 años de teología: balance y perspectivas, FSM-PPC, Madrid 200, 293-321. ISBN 84-288-1611-5


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Sweden (Contact person: Hanna Stenström)


The ESWTR members in Sweden took the initiative to hold a conference about the current state in Sweden of feminist research in religion/theology,
on 21-22 September 2006 at Graninge Stiftsgård. (Graninge is a study
and conference centre run by the Diocese of Stockholm. Its director is
Ann-Cathrin Jarl, a doctor of ethics who wrote a dissertation on feminist ethics and economy and for many years was a member of the ESWTR.)

conference was open to ESWTR members and non-members, women and men.
There were 25 participants (two of them men) who discussed
the situation of feminist/gender research in religion/theology and
Sweden, new theoretical trends etc. The conference gave doctoral
students, teachers and scholars from all over Sweden – we came from
eight universities or
other institutions for research – an opportunity to meet which they had
not had before. The conference was supported financially by Graninge
Stiftsgård and the Swedish Research Council.

the conference, we tried to exchange information with one another about
conferences, jobs and other issues of possible interest.
There was also a national meeting with about 15 participants in Uppsala
on 2 February 2007 where we discussed ongoing research.


On 19 January 2007 ESWTR member Lina Sjöberg defended her dissertation in Old Testament Exegesis at the Faculty of Theology, University of Uppsala: Genesis och Jernet. Ett möte mellan Sara Lidmans Jernbaneepos och bibelns berättelser.
(Gidlunds: Hedemora, 2006). The dissertation is in Swedish with a
three-page summary in English entitled “The Hermeneutics of Bible and
Literature: An Intertextual Journey in Two Directions”.

As the
title of the summary implies, this dissertation is a mainly a study of
the intertextual relations between five novels of the
Swedish author Sara Lidman (1923-2004) and the stories of Abraham,
Sarah and Hagar in Gen. 16 and 21. Sjöberg develops the theoretical
aspect concerning intertextuality as well as the analytical tools, in a
way that makes
it possible for her not only to shed light on Lidman’s (re)use of the
biblical texts but also to discover otherwise unseen meanings in the
biblical texts through reading the novels.


Two other new books in Swedish may be mentioned:

Ninna Edgardh Beckman et al. Kära Ester! Texter om feminism och kristen tro (Malmö:
Arcus, 2006) [Dear Ester! Texts about feminism and Christian faith.] In
Swedish. Ester here is not the biblical Ester, but Ester Lutteman
(1888-1976), a Swedish woman who was prominent
in the work for ordination of women to the priesthood in the (Lutheran)
Church of Sweden. She was also a well-known public figure, a theologian
who was a member of decision-making bodies in the Church, regarded as
leader by a number of women, and constantly travelling around Sweden
giving speeches on all kinds of issues concerning theology, society and
women. In 1957, she decided that she had had enough of the resistance
to the ordination
of women and misogyny in the Church of Sweden. In a public speech, she
announced her decision to leave the Church. Although women were given
the right to ordination in 1958, she never returned and never became a
member of
another church, although she remained a Christian until her death.

The book Kära Ester! was written by a group of feminist women and theologians, including ESWTR-members Helene Egnell and Ninna Edgardh Beckman.
In the first part, each of them writes a letter to Ester, in which they
reflect on what she said
in her speech 50 years ago. In the second part, they reflect on the
possibility of being feminist and Christian in the Church of Sweden
today. The book also includes Lutteman’s speech and a short biography.

this book, the present meets history; the personal meets the general
and academic theology meets and blends with church theology.


Lars Hartman, Lina Sjöberg, Mikael Sjöberg (eds.) Vad, hur och varför? Reflektioner om bibelvetenskap. Festskrift till Inger Ljung. [What, how and why? Reflections on biblical studies. Commemorative volume for Inger Ljung.] In Swedish.

This book is celebrates Inger Ljung, one of the pioneers for feminist theology – or more specifically, feminist exegesis – in Sweden, on her 60th
Birthday. The book includes 20 articles, and the authors represent a
number of academic disciplines, although most of them are biblical
scholars from
Sweden and Denmark, including ESWTR member
Hanna Stenström.
As the title shows, the articles deal with a number of topics related
to matters of principle in biblical exegesis, and some of the articles
are written from a feminist perspective.


– Antje Jackelén
(see her articles in ESWTR Journals of 1996 and 1999) has been elected
bishop of the Diocese of Lund in the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden. AJ
has been a professor at the Lutheran School of Theology,
Chicago, since 2001.

– Finally, it may be mentioned that the Church of Sweden has decided to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the decision to ordain women to the priesthood in 2008. A theologian, Boel Hössjer-Sundman, has been employed to prepare the celebrations.


During the following four years, some of the bio ethicists at Linköping University, Sweden, will focus their work on the field “Gender and Pluralism in Bioethics”
(projects will deal with gender and living organ donation, death
definition pluralism and global
bioethics – to give some examples). If you are interested in research
in this area, and want to get in touch with us, please contact
Kristin Zeiler, email:


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Switzerland (Contact person: Monika Jakobs)



Christine Pflüger’s
thesis, “Die Religionstheorie Georg Simmels in ihren
werkgeschichtlichen und theologiegeschichtlichen Bezügen”, has earned
her a doctorate at the University of Osnabrück (in the department
of Education and Cultural Studies at the Institute for Protestant
Theology). Congratulations!

Personal details

After five years as our Swiss contact person, Béatrice Bowald is passing the post on to Monika Jakobs, Professor of Religious Education at the Theological Faculty of the University of Lucerne and head of the Institute of Religious
Education. Béatrice Bowald will still be there for the Swiss section, but now she will be deputy contact person.


Ottiger, Nicola, Gott im Menschen. Die Gnadentheologie von Ambroise Gardeil als Anstoss für heute, (Studia Friburgensia; 99) Fribourg 2006.


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The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion Expands New Scholars Award

The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion announces an expansion of its New Scholars Award program. As you may already know, the JFSR
is a channel for the publication of feminist scholarship in religion
and a forum for discussion and dialogue among women and men of various
perspectives. The New Scholars Award
signals our awareness of the need to encourage and give recognition to the emerging voices of new scholars, whose research
and insights will shape the future of feminist studies in religion.

Beginning with the fall 2007 Award, there will be tiered awards with the first place winner receiving $1000.00,
the second place winner receiving $500.00, and the third place winner receiving $250.00.

in the New Scholars Award competition does not require an advanced
academic degree. However, authors
cannot have taught at the college or university level for more than
three years at the time of submission. Submissions will first enter the
standard blind review process. Once an article is accepted for
publication, it will
be considered for the New Scholars Award. Submissions will be judged by
a panel to determine the winners. To participate in this award, authors
should please submit three copies of the manuscript and include a cover
stating his or her intention to participate in the award. The winning
manuscripts will appear in the

For further information on the JFSR, full submission guidelines, and the New Scholars Award information, please visit our website at: or email us at