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Theology and Women

2015 May 14 & 17


DVD $20


1)  WHAT DID LEONARDO AND MICHELANGELO REALLY THINK OF WOMEN? Renaissance pictorial radicalism acclaims the feminine - Dr. Christopher Evan Longhurst

C. E. Longhurst webThis lecture revisits significant artworks by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti to look again at their depictions of women and concepts on women. It presents these artists as far more radical than mainstream art criticism or theological scholarship concedes by probing “meaning” inherent in their artworks rather than critiquing mere “subject matter.” It breaks down popular constructions that construe these artists as antifeminist by revealing how, though their art, they contributed to lessening the role of male authority by not only blurring distinctions between male and female genders but also by challenging established religious and societal norms in exciting artistic ways.

Focus: Leonardo da Vinci—Ginevra de’ Benci, Lady with an Ermine, and Last Supper. Michelangelo Buonarroti—Creation of Adam (detail), and Pietà.

Bio: Dr. Christopher Longhurst originally hails from Napier, Hawke’s Bay. He holds a Ph.D. in theology from the Angelicum University, Rome, Italy, 2009. For the past two years he has been living and working in Morocco as Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Islamic Studies Program at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane. He also works as a docent (operatore didattico) at the Vatican Museums, Rome, Italy, leading tours, lecturing, and conducting seminars. His field of study is theological aesthetics or the interdisciplinary study of religion and art.


2) WOMEN MINISTERS? Religion licenses the feminine - Rev Dr Susan Jones

Rev Dr Susan JonesAs minister at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Rev Dr Susan Jones is well placed to speak on the intersection of The Feminine and ordination. First, in the bulk of the lecture she will present an historical account of the ordination in St Andrew’s 50 years ago this month of Rev Margaret Reid Martin, the first New Zealand Presbyterian woman minister (and first woman minister to Moderate the national church). Susan will introduce research which analyses the symbolic nature of women’s ordination and leadership in institutions like church. She will also employ dualisms to explore why The Feminine is not valued in church and society and speculate as to how that might change.

Bio: Rev Dr Susan Jones was born in Gore and taught at Gore High School and Menzies College, Wyndham where she became Associate Principal. She then trained for the Presbyterian ministry and has ministered mostly in the South Island at Balclutha, (Balmoral) Christchurch (Knox), Dunedin (Knox and Opoho) and as Ministry Team Leader in the newly amalgmated Timaru Presbyterian Parish. Her doctorate Governing for Theologia (2006) analysed the degree of integration in theological formation of Presbyterian ministers from 1961-1997. Susan has worked and convened a variety of church committees and Boards, including in women’s issues, leadership training and parish and ministry reviews. She has taught Theological Reflection and Education in Ministry through the Otago University Department of Religion as adjunct lecturer. Susan is a published poet, trained supervisor and spiritual director and hymn writer. Her field of interest is in faith and church in the twenty first century. She took up her position as minister of St Andrew’s on The Terrace in March 2015.