Religion and Gender

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© Ergon

In the past, the monotheistic world religions have traditionally subordinated woman with respect to man. Historian Prof. Dr. Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” of the German University of Münster has edited a German book on the relationship between religion and gender under the title “Als Mann und Frau schuf er sie” (Man and woman he created them). “The Catholic Church and Islam for instance are preserving pre-modern, patriarchal gender roles. It is common knowledge that women are not allowed to become priests or imams, for example.” According to the researcher, who was recently awarded the Historisches Kolleg Award, the influence of religions today is most visible in the gender relation. According to the scientist, it is not sufficient to concentrate solely on current problems in order to adequately assess the relationship of religion and gender. Rather, a historically comparative perspective is greatly needed.

The omnibus volume’s eleven articles pursue, from the point of view of different subjects and epochs, the question as to how religions have influenced the gender order. Among the authors are scientists from the University of Münster and other German and Dutch universities, including the jurist Titia Loenen from Utrecht and the Berlin cultural scientist Christina von Braun as well as Rabbi Elisa Klapheck and the publicist Khola Maryam Hübsch from Frankfurt. Contributing scholars from the Cluster of Excellence are the social ethicist Marianne Heimbach-Steins, the historians Werner Freitag and Sita Steckel, and the jurist Bijan Fateh Moghadam. The book assembles contributions to the Cluster of Excellence’s public lecture series “Religion and Gender” of 2011 and 2012. It was published as the seventh volume of the series “Religion und Politik” by Ergon-Verlag, Würzburg.

Literature: Stollberg-Rilinger, Barbara (ed.): „Als Mann und Frau schuf er sie“. Religion und Geschlecht (Religion und Politik, vol. 7), Würzburg: Ergon 2014 (with contributions from Bijan Fateh-Moghadam, Werner Freitag, Marianne Heimbach-Steins, Eva Schlotheuber, Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, and Sita Steckel).