September 2, 2008

Emilie Townes - Public Voice

Originally Posted November 2007

Religion is bandied about a good bit in the media these days. The coverage, however, is often a troubling caricature of religions and rarely, if ever, provides a cogent description of the complex ways that religion manifests itself in peoples' lives. I find it particularly disturbing that the ways in which women are grafted into these stories--usually as victims who need to be rescued from either themselves (because they are making poor choices about their bodies) or darker-skinned men (Islam). Woefully inadequate at best, promoting overt and covert acts of violence against women at worst.

This page exists to provide a clear and accurate alternative to such caricatures and the dangerous reactions they spawn. Here, we will feature thoughtful informed perspectives on the ways in which women's lives influence and are influenced by religion. That we feature women religious scholars is an added bonus as readers will have the opportunity to read and reflect on some of the most astute observers of the public role of religion and the ways in which women are active participants in this.

It is my hope that we will have a variety of voices and insights on this page and that they will not always agree but give us a rich range of perspectives that will spark the readers' imagination and, hopefully, activism to engage the public dimensions of how we can use our knowledge to promote greater spaces of justice and equality in societies in which we live and work.

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