Thursday, April 15, 2010

Female Christ conference planned

Above: “Jesus of the People” by Janet McKenzie
Below: Nicola Slee

Female Christ figures are the theme of an exciting conference this weekend in Sheffield, England.

Christa: The Female Christ: Exploring the Humanity of Christ through Theology and Art” will be presented Saturday, April 17, at St. Marks Centre for Radical Christianity in Sheffield.

Nicola Slee, a respected scholar, author and theologian, will lead the conference.

“I will be exploring with participants a variety of artists’ images of a female Christ, and also tracing this idea in the work of contemporary feminist theologians, as well as looking at historical roots of the notion of a female Christ figure,” Slee told me when I contacted her about the conference.

One of the resources that she plans to recommend at the conference is my book, “Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More.” Both the Christa conference flier and “Art That Dares” use the same powerful image of a black female Christ: “Jesus of the People” by Janet McKenzie, shown above.

Slee’s next book is titled “In Search of the Risen Christa.” She gave me some advance details about it. “My own book, which is very near completion, explores the idea of the Christa through a sequence of poems that are focused on the passion narrative, but with a particular focus on resurrection and what it might mean to image a risen Christa,” Slee said.

She is research fellow and team leader of the MA in applied theological studies at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham, England. She was the keynote speaker at the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement’s 2008 annual conference. Click here or on the image below for a video of her speech there.

A lay Anglican, Nicola has a deep love of poetry and the visual arts, and finds both can enliven and deepen theological exploration. Her previous books include Women’s Faith Development, The Book of Mary, and Praying Like a Woman.

Click here for more info on the Christa conference.


Trudie said...

Another excellent post. I'll be looking forward to her book when it comes out -- I'm sure you'll link it on the blog.

Kittredge Cherry said...

Nicola has already offered to share some poems from her new “Risen Christa” book on this blog. So you can look forward to that.

Trudie, I thought of your request for more women’s spirituality material while I was compiling this post. I’m glad you liked it.

A special thanks to Yewtree for being the first to tell me bout this female Christ conference. More news tips are welcome.

Yewtree said...

Excellent - so glad you contacted her to find out more! Oh yes and there's also the Britain & Ireland School of Feminist Theology conference, while I think of it!