Women's History Conference - Keeping the Faith: Sex, Gender, and Religion

Ksenia M. Soboleva Discussion
March 5, 2023
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Public History, Religious Studies and Theology, Sexuality Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Sunday March 5: Keeping the Faith: Sex, Gender, and Religion
Fifth annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History 
at the Center for Women's History, New York Historical Society


1:00-1:15 pm - Welcome
Dr. Valerie Paley, Director, Center for Women’s History
Dr. Anna Danziger Halperin, Associate Director, Center for Women’s History

1:15-2:15 pm Believing in the Common Good: Women, Religion, and Economic Justice 

For many women, faith traditions can inspire and mobilize actions for social justice and economic reform. Likewise, economic realities can shape women’s religious experiences, beliefs, and communities, providing a source of both support and critique. Today, growing income inequality, the persistence of poverty, and declining social mobility leave wide room for religiously-affiliated social action and women’s religious voices. Join us for a conversation about women and the intersection of religion and socioeconomic inequality, the popular narrative of the “common good,” and economic justice for women as a means of strengthening faith-based communities. 


Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Senior Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church New York (MCCNY)

Rev. Jennifer Jones-Austin, CEO And Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA)      

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign and Director, Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice, Union Theological Seminary

Moderator:  Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, President Emerita, Auburn Theological Seminary

2:15-2:30pm  Break

2:30-3:30pm Challenging Tradition: Gender and Religious Leadership

Women’s ordination is only one piece of what constitutes women’s leadership in the world’s religions. Working within their traditions to make them more inclusive, women take on diverse leadership positions—from denominational leaders to biblical scholars to religious activists to spiritual teachers— that challenge gender norms and lead to greater diversity and commitment in their communities.. The women on this panel will discuss their gendered experiences of religious leadership, how the focus on ordination obscures the many less visible forms of women’s leadership in religious communities, and the process of breaking the “stained glass ceiling.”


Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis,  Senior Minister for Public Theology and Transformation, Middle Church

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, CEO for T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Ret. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Former Bishop of Nevada, Former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (2006-2015)

Moderator: Dr. Ann Pellegrini, Professor of Performance Studies & Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University

3:30-4:00 pm Break

4:00-5:00pm Keynote Conversation: Reproductive Justice After Dobbs

In the aftermath of the Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision, one of the most pressing and divisive issues relating to religion and women’s rights today is reproductive justice. While most observers tend to associate religious faith with arguments against abortion, clergy and faith-based activists have also fought to increase access to reproductive care, from assisting women in their search for abortion care in the years preceding Roe v Wade to spearheading challenges in our post-Dobbes legal landscape. This keynote conversation will discuss the past, present, and future of the role of faith in the movement for reproductive justice


Rev. Latishia James “Rev. Pleasure”, Co-Director of Organizational Development, Spiritual Alliance of Communities for Reproductive Dignity (SACReD)

Andrea Salwen Kopel,  Executive Director, National Council of Jewish Women New York (NCJW NY)

Rev. Katey Zeh, CEO, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice

Moderator:  Irin Carmon, Senior correspondent, New York Magazine

5:00-6:00 pm Reception


REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE HERE: https://www.nyhistory.org/programs/keeping-the-faith-sex-gender-and-reli...

Contact Info: 

Ksenia M. Soboleva
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the New York Historical Society