WHO WE ARE...
Elizabeth Ursic is a professor of Religious Studies at Mesa Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. She is also adjunct faculty at the California Institute of integral Studies, teaching Women and World Religions for the graduate Women’s Spirituality program. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, as well as a scholar in residence with the Auroville Community in Southern India.
She holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Arizona State University, MDiv from Yale Divinity School, and a MBA, MA, BS, BA from the University of Pennsylvania. Her book, Women, Ritual, and Power: Female Imagery of God in Christian Worship was published with SUNY Press in Fall 2014. Her research interests include: gender studies, ritual studies, and the contemporary history of feminist theology.
In addition to academics, Elizabeth plays cello and piano, and she recorded an instrumental CD titled Unspoken Touch which led to a fellowship at the Yale Institute for sacred Music. Recently she composed music for the World Academy for the Future of Women which was performed at SIAS University in Henan province, China. She is trained as a spiritual director and works primarily with artists. She is a board member of the Arizona Interfaith Movement, and has formerly served as a board member of the Arizona Sexual Assault Network.
“I have appreciated the warm and supportive space of the Women’s Caucus for networking and developing collaborative projects at the AAR/ SBL. I am thrilled to be co-chairing the Women’s Caucus, and I am delighted to co-create programming with such an enthusiastic and dynamic leadership team!”
Elaine Nogueira-Godsey is a Brazilian Assistant Professor of Theology, Ecology and Race at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Her teaching and research are focused at the intersection of Postcolonial Theory, Ecofeminism and Liberation Theology. Dr Nogueira-Godsey lived for the past 19 years in South Africa and recently migrated to the United States. She makes use of postcolonial theory to research the relationships between Ecology, Gender and Race in Christian Traditions, with a focus on Third-World contexts, particularly Latin America and Africa.
Among her published works is “A History of Resistance: Ivone Gebara’s Transformative Ecofeminist Liberation Theology,” based off of her PhD thesis, “The Ecofeminism of Ivone Gebara.” Currently, she is working on her manuscript entitled “Postcolonial Imaginations of an Ecofeminist Liberation Methodology.” She is an active board member of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC) as well as an Assistant Editor for the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (JSRNC).
In South Africa, she worked closely with Angolan and Mozambican refugees in the townships of Cape Town. At the University of Cape Town (UCT) she taught on “Religion, Ecology and Spirituality” as well as “Feminist Theologies.” Dr Nogueira-Godsey also served as managing editor of the Journal for the Study of Religion and as research coordinator for the Institute for the Comparative Study of Religion in Southern Africa (ICRSA), headed by Professor David Chidester. Living and working in a multicultural and interreligious context has helped shape her research interest in advancing an ecofeminist critique that is postcolonial in scope.
Women's Caucus Leadership Team 2019
Rosemarie Daher Kowalski is adjunct professor at Northwest University in Seattle and Asia Theological College in Singapore. Her PhD in Intercultural Studies focused on the first generation of female missionaries during the early C20 Pentecostal revivals, asking "What made them think they could?" She has presented papers on the effects of undergraduate education on cross-cultural workers, as well as women in missions at the Society of Pentecostal Studies. Articles include The Mission Theology of Early Pentecost: Call, Challenge, and Opportunity (Brill 2010). She studies how those others view as disempowered or disadvantaged can transform their surroundings. Her interest is fueled by students who become influencers of culture in Africa, Europe, China, and India. She leads workshops on missional theology and works with women's groups inside and outside the church. She is ordained with the Assemblies of God.
The Women's Caucus gathers women of diverse backgrounds, scholarship, and faiths into affirming partnerships. I enjoy being part of a multi-faceted group that shares our resources, encourages further study, and networks our contacts and opportunities.
Rosemarie blogs at www.peacefulones.blogspot.com
and can be reached at
Meredith Minister is Assistant Professor of Religion at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA where she teaches courses in religious studies and in gender studies including Food and Religion, Religion in Speculative Fiction, and Feminist and Queer Theories. She is the author of Rape Culture on Campus (Lexington, 2018) and Trinitarian Theology and Power Relations: God Embodied (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and co-editor of Cultural Approaches to Studying Religion: An Introduction to Theories and Methods and The Bloomsbury Reader in Cultural Approaches to the Study of Religion (Bloomsbury, 2018). She’s currently compiling an edited volume with Rhiannon Graybill and Beatrice Lawrence, Rape Culture and Religious Studies: Critical and Pedagogical Engagements (Lexington) and thinking about futurity, death, and what we can learn from aliens. She holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Theological Studies from Boston University.
Alicia Angelica Panganiban
Alicia Panganiban has been part of the Women’s Caucus leadership team since November 2012. She also co-chairs the Dignity of Women Interfaith Wisdom Project and 1000 Women in Religion Project. She’s currently the Vice President/President Elect for the Mid-Atlantic Region of AAR. She completed her Th.M. at Princeton Theological Seminary and earned her M. Div. at Regent University. Prior to her theological education, Alicia has been serving as a lay minister for more than 20 years--actively involved in campus ministry and home cell ministry right in the heart of Manila when Pentecostalism was rapidly expanding in the Global South. Alicia was an entrepreneur, the CEO of her own importation and service businesses while she served as lay minister. Alicia’s research interests include: theological and practical interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, pneumatic hermeneutics, pneuma praxis, and women of the Bible. Alicia has been married for 25 years and blessed to have three sons.
Alicia says, "Here at the Women’s Caucus we emphasize a warm, inclusive, and embracing culture. We seek to bring about transformations as we engage in our commonality in going through challenges in a field dominated by men; and celebrate our brilliance as women scholars. In light of our new projects, 1000 Women in Religion and Dignity of Women Interfaith Wisdom Projects, we envision these joint projects with the Parliament of World Religion as threshold in this moment in history where dignity of women is upheld everywhere, locally and globally-at home, schools, churches, workplaces, wider communities, and worldwide. We wish to highlight the important role of women, faith and religion; and raise public awareness of the wisdom sayings of various traditions that support the dignity of women. We aspire that women’s dignity is upheld in our generation and in generations to come because of God's work in our midst and of our collective effort for transformations."
Deborah L. Fulthorp
Deborah (Debbie) Fulthorp is a full-time online faculty member at Grand Canyon University and an adjunct professor at SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary and Northpoint Bible College. She finished a DMin in Leadership at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Her project, Spirit-Empowered Women in Church Leadership, was designed to be a University as well as in the local church advocating for women and men to work equally together in Christian ministry within the Assemblies of God and Pentecostal traditions.
Deborah's teaching and ministry centers around an outflow of her relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit's empowerment. She was called into ministry at the age of 15, and has since traveled to over 28 countries in cross-cultural ministry. She and her husband also co-pastored together in the beautiful Grand Canyon National Park.
She loves writing, hiking, photography and worship music from around the world. Her passion is missions and advocating for women in ministry and spending time with her husband Brian and their 3 children, Mercy 12; Samuel 9; Benjamin who is 2 years old.
Janice Leah Poss
Janice Leah Poss is a graduate student in the Women's Studies in Religions at Claremont Graduate University and holds an MA in Pastoral Theology from Loyola Marymount University. Her BFA, in fashion and photography, is from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has done all forms of ministry at her parish, Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills, Ca., where she currently teaches adult Bible Study and most recently a course on the Vatican II document, Nostra Aetate. She considers herself a Buddhist Catholic without hesitation as the readings of Thich Nhat Hahn led her back to her faith. As she became more involved in ministry, she studied foundational theology as a quest for knowledge to help the sentient beings to whom she ministered. She was selected to present a paper comparing visual images of Buddha and Christ at the Hearing the Cries of the Poor, Buddhist-Christian Dialogue Conference, completed her MA while buying full-time for the J. Paul Getty Museum Stores. She is a comparative religious scholar. Her areas of interest concentrate on the intersection of aesthetics, ethics, feminism, praxis, social justice, activism, international peace-building and women’s leadership. She has contributed articles to feminismandreligion.com-- “And one spoke with authority. Mt. 7:29” and “What Does Exclusivism Feel Like?”, the WOC Newsletter -- “The Christlike Reversal: ‘Pink Smoke Over the Vatican’ Review” and LMU Graduate Journal -- “Friendship”.
She was invited to present a poster project on the intersection of Tibetan Buddhism and Science at the Mangalam Center’s Summer Institute entitled, Putting the Buddhism/Science Dialogue on a New Footing, in Berkeley, Ca funded by the John Templeton Foundation. She is on the women's task force for the Parliament of World Religions' 1000 women in Religions and Dignity of Women projects, coordinator for the Pat Reif, IHM, Memorial Lecture at CGU and on the leadership for the GenUN chapter for the UN at the Claremont Colleges.
She loves animals, practices Christian and Buddhist meditation, and sings in choir for fourteen years. Meditation and music are important to her personal worship. St. Hildegard wrote that singing high notes brings one closer to God. Her compassionate outlook while studying for her Ph.D. in Religion at CGU has led her to minister to a professor who has suffered a stroke.
Saphira Rameshfar is a Representative of the Baha'i International Community’s United Nations Office in New York. Her areas of work include gender equality, youth empowerment and peace and security.
Saphira currently serves on the Executive Committee of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women in New York, as Co-Chair of the Working Group on Girls to the UN and convenes the Faith and Feminism Working Group to the United Nations.
Ms. Rameshfar has previously worked at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in New York and for the Australian Federal Government.
She holds a Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Applied Science, Research Degree in Ecology, Postgraduate qualifications in Public Administration and Governance as well as a Masters of International Law (Australian National University).
Kathryn Common is a doctoral student at Boston University focusing her studies on feminist liberation practical theology. She earned her MA at Andover Newton Theological School where she began her explorations in feminist theology. Prior to her work in theology she completed a BFA in visual communication design at Kent State University and has worked professionally in areas of graphic design, art direction and videography. Her background in the arts has complemented her theological studies in a variety of ways including the development of particular hermeneutical and methodological approaches to her feminist theological work as well as providing insight into poetic approaches to practical theology. In 2012, she gave a presentation at Andover Newton where she discussed the integration of filmmaking and theology. In addition, Kathryn is in the development phase of producing a short-film focusing on feminist and womanist academic theologians.
Julia Berger is the Principal Researcher at the Baha'i International Community's United Nations Office in New York. In February 2014, she began her doctoral studies at the University of Kent (UK). Her research focuses on the Bahai community's engagement with the UN. Prior to joining the Baha'i UN Office in 2004, Julia was a Research Associate at Harvard's Joint Program on Religion and Public Life, where she continued her research (from her Masters degree) about international religious NGOs and explored the engagement of faith-based community-service organizations throughout the United States. Julia has a degree in piano pedagogy and enjoys accompanying her twin daughters on the piano. Julia lives with her husband (who is Jewish) in New York city and enjoys the challenges of co-parenting identical twins in a multi-faith home.
Jea Sophia Oh
Dr. Jea Sophia Oh is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She obtained her masters degree in Feminist Theology at Yale University and her Ph.D. in philosophical and theological studies at Drew University, her concentration in Women’s and Gender studies. Dr. Oh’s research and teaching interests include Asian Philosophy, Comparative Ethics, Religion and Ecology, Ecofeminism, and Postcolonial Studies. Her book, A Postcolonial Theology of Life: Planetarity East and West (Upland: Sopher Press, December 2011), is the first approach to bridge postcolonialism and ecofeminism with the use of Asian spirituality as the philosophical underpinning for the argument that all forms of Life are sacred. She has presented and published numerous articles on various topics related to Asian Philosophy, Religion and Ecology, Women and Gender Studies, nationally and internationally. She has served as the Chair of Religion, Gender, and Sexuality at Mid-Atlantic American Academy of Religion since 2011.
Colleen D. Hartung, Ph.D is developer and coordinator of the Ministry for Families and Children at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Madison, Wisconsin. She completed her doctoral studies at Chicago Theological Seminary in 2015. Her current research interests lie at the intersection between feminism, ritual theory, Derridian philosophies and theology with an emphasis on liturgical hospitality in an ecumenical context as a site of resistance, renewal and innovation. She is the author of a contribution to Polydoxy: Theology of Multiplicity and Relation titled "Faith and Polydoxy in the Whirlwind" (edited by Catherine Keller and Laurel C. Schneider Routledge, 2012).
Theresa A. Yugar
Theresa A. Yugar currently teaches at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where she is situated in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department. She earned a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University and a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University in the field of Women’s Studies in Religion. Her areas of expertise are Ecofeminist Theory and Praxis and Gender in Colonial Latin American History. She is the recipient of a Fulbright and Hispanic Theological Initiative Fellowship, and Scholar for the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program. She is also the author of the book, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Feminist Reconstruction of Biography and Text, which is a feminist historical reconstruction of Novohispana feminist, De La Cruz, in her 17th century New Spain, modern-day Mexican world.
Julia Enxing, Ph.D., is a Catholic theologian, located in Germany. She is Professor for Systematic Theology at the University of Dresden. In 2012, Julia received her Ph.D. from the University of Muenster, Germany; her habilitation (a second post-doctoral degree) followed in 2017. During her doctoral studies, Julia spent time as a Visting Scholar at the Center for Process Studies, Claremont School of Theology, CA. Her research focuses on ecclesiology, process theology, religious philosophy, eco-theology, gender studies and animal theology. From 2015 till 2018 Julia was Principal Investigator of an international, ecumenical research network on "Sin and Guilt as Challenges for Theology and the Church," funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Further, she is on the editorial staff of the Theological Online Feuilleton and on the board of the Theological Journal Cursor (https://cursor.pubpub.org/). You can find further information on her personal website: www.juliaenxing.de.
Rosalind Hinton is an independent scholar and oral historian who uses her skills for movement building, public history and fundraising.
She recently curated a New Orleans Tricentennial Exhibition, l’dor v’dor: From Generation to Generation, Jewish Women and Their Impact on New Orleans for the Tricentennial.
She initiated LAOUTLOUD, a digital storytelling project for activists. She was lead historian on Katrina’s Jewish Voices, a project documenting the Jewish community post Katrina.
Rosalind Hinton has a PhD in Religious Studies from Northwestern University in Evanston IL.
Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta is an anthropologist and theologian who lectures at Master of Management Program of Business Faculty at Duta Wacana Christian University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
She is also a grassroots activist who facilitates a people's organization called Co-op Griya Jati Rasa to connect with academicians whom strengths products made by the people for social justice and peace.
Her main area of interest is socio-religion, gender, development and conflict resolution.