I just read another thoughtful post by Caryn Riswald over at Feminismxianity. This time Caryn is commenting on the Women who Stayed with the stabbing victim in London, soldier Lee Rigby. As ever, Caryn is thoughtful and pushes her readers to consider woman’s nature (gender) as she ponders the horrible tragedy of this terrorist murder.
In this instance, women stayed, attempted provide comfort to the dying, and tried to defuse a potentially more deadly situation than had already occurred. Caryn points to historical religious roles that women have played – specifically the women who followed Jesus when he was crucified. My mind turned to my study of American women’s history and I am left thinking of the historical cultural role women have played as caretakers and helpers, whether as those who cared for their community’s sick, prepared their loved ones’ bodies for the grave, or those as Caryn puts it, who bore “witness to … torture and death.” I am not necessarily a promoter of the idea that women’s roles are determined by their gender and much of the roles that women have played are all too often ascribed to their “nature” as female. No, I am not here to debate the nature versus nurture argument. Yet, given this example of women who stayed, what can we learn about connections and communication? Go see what Caryn has to say about that.
Starting in May, we (the LFP office) start traveling to various conferences for our Lilly Graduate Fellows. Throughout the year they are hard at work in the graduate programs and engaging in online colloquiums. Then in the summers, they come together for conferences that are held over three or four days at one of the mentor’s home campus. We just got back from one held at Baylor University. Baylor has several graduate students in our Lilly Graduate Fellow program and we had a chance to catch up with some of them, which is where I learned about this article written by the Third Cohort’s Rachel Pietka. Written in April, Pietka is responding to John Piper’s take on female intellectuals – more specifically Bible commentaries written by women.
Apparently Piper has trouble with women directly in person conveying knowledge to him, because, as Pietka puts it, “a woman teacher stands before him, he says, making him aware of his own manhood and her womanhood.” This troubling for Piper, as Pietka points out, pulling human sexuality into the intellectual mix. Equally troublesome is that Piper is threatened by female power. Women’s ideas, according to Piper, can only be expressed indirectly.
There is more in Pietka’s post. Check out what she has to say in her excellent post on Christianity Today.
Rachel Pietka received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Azusa Pacific University in 2006. She completed her M.A. at Chapman University in 2009, and she is currently in the PhD program in English at Baylor University. She studies women writers and religious issues, specifically nineteenth-century American literature, transatlantic perspectives, and life writing.
In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day, this article from Jack Levison, Professor of New Testament at Seattle Pacific University, recalls the author’s introduction to masterful teaching. Read his “What I Learned from a Master Teacher,” published in Levison’s blog at Huffpost, here.
Posted by Joe Creech
Over at Inside Higher Ed, Libby Nelson interviews Scott Korb, Author of Light Without Fire: The Making of America’s First Muslim College. This is a fascinating look at Zaytuna College, which opened its doors in Fall, 2010. Read more here.
Posted by Joe Creech