CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS/PARTICIPANTS
Toward Life-giving Communities in a Time of Pandemic:
Asian Feminist Theological Perspectives
10th Biennial Conference (online)
Ecclesia of Women in Asia
Date: 24-26 February 2022 (Thursday to Saturday)
WHO ARE WE?
Ecclesia of Women in Asia (EWA) is an academic forum of Catholic women theologians in Asia. EWA encourages and assists Catholic women in Asia to engage in research, reflection, and writing from a feminist perspective. It invites women towards doing theology that: a) is inculturated and contextualized in Asian realities; b) builds on the spiritual experience and praxis of the socially excluded; c) promotes mutuality and the integrity of creation; d) dialogues with other disciplines, Christian denominations and religions/faiths.
EWA was born in 2002 when 55 women theologians from 17 Asian countries gathered in Bangkok, Thailand for the conference “Gathering the Voices of the Silenced: Ecclesia of Women in Asia. In 2022, EWA will be celebrating its twentieth anniversary. (See https://ecclesiaofwomenblog.wordpress.com/ for the history of EWA).
This Call for Presentations (Papers/Creative Works) and Participants for the 20th anniversary of EWA is extended to all Catholic women “doing theology” in Asia at the grassroots, pastoral and/or professional level. Special invitation is extended to those who have been in previous EWA conferences to celebrate this important occasion with us. There is also space for 10% of the participants to come from other faith traditions or outside Asia.
THEME AND CONTEXT
The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has affected people’s lives in radical ways. The high degree of infection necessitated the practice of physical distancing, quarantine, or even city lockdown. This has impacted greatly people’s social interactions at home, neighborhood, school, work, and in Church life.
The pandemic also exacerbated the already existing inequalities in society as businesses closed and people lost their jobs. The digital divide is felt now more than ever by students who have to go online for their education. Access to the vaccine is skewed by the North/South economic divide.
Intersecting the pandemic issues are other contemporary challenges such as environmental problems/climate crisis, the rise of populism and disinformation campaigns, and the curtailment of freedom of speech and expression. Despite the latter and the risks of Covid 19 infection, people in various places have gathered outside to express their protest against government mishandling of the pandemic, increased repression, politicizing the vaccine, and so on.
The pandemic has likewise shown society’s reliance on the importance of the work of women at home and on the front lines, at the same time, revealing structural inequalities at all levels, and rolling back women’s economic gains in the past. In his recently promulgated encyclical Fratelli Tutti (On Fraternity and Social Friendship), Pope Francis notes that “in practice, human rights are not equal for all.” (no. 22) He rightly points out that “the organization of societies worldwide is still far from reflecting clearly that women possess the same dignity and identical rights as men. We say one thing with words, but our decisions and reality tell another story” (no. 23). However, with the encyclical citing no woman as source, example, or inspiration, the Church itself clearly needs to put its words into practice too.
The Pope further expressed in an interview on key themes of life during pandemic (Vatican News) that “it is impossible to emerge from a crisis the same as before. Either we come out better or we come out worse. And how we emerge depends on the decisions we make during the crisis.” Will the status of women, communities in Asia, and the church emerge from this crisis better or worse?
It is in this context and with the above challenges that EWA 10th Biennial Conference of the sends out this Call for Papers on the theme: Towards Life-giving Communities in a Time of Pandemic: Asian Feminist Theological Perspectives. The conference will focus on the following research questions:
- How does the Covid 19 pandemic affect women in communities at various levels and challenge traditional practices and their underlying theologies?
- What new feminist theological reflections are emerging in response to or in relation to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath?
- How can one evaluate the adequacy of the church’s response to the pandemic, especially from the standpoint of marginalized women? Does the church response foster life-giving communities?
By “life-giving community,” we mean one that is inclusive, communitarian, egalitarian, empowering, and respectful of differences. It is a community that goes beyond the boundaries of gender, class or race/ethnicity, fostering right relations with God, other peoples, and creation.
The above questions can be examined from a systematic, Scriptural, moral, spiritual, liturgical, pastoral, and/or missiological perspectives.
[only suggestions, not exhaustive]
- Covid-19/ Coronavirus
- Inclusive and relational Church community
- Pandemic and women
- Pandemic and family life/ domestic violence
- Pandemic and reproductive health
- Pandemic and workers/employment
- Pandemic and marginalized groups
- Pandemic and health care/vaccines
- Pandemic and mental health/suicides
- Pandemic and ethical challenges
- Pandemic and democracy/governance
- Pandemic and law enforcement/human rights
- Pandemic and environment/climate crisis
- Pandemic and Church management
- Pandemic and pastoral responses
- Pandemic and catechism
- Pandemic and education
- Pandemic and digital church/world
- Pandemic and sacraments
- Pandemic and popular religiosities
- Pandemic and interfaith collaboration/dialogue
FOR PAPER PRESENTERS
The deadline for submission of a one-page description of the paper is 30 March 2021. The one-page description should include the title of the paper, rationale for choosing the topic, statement of the problem, methodology, significance of the study (contribution in terms of new knowledge and potential impact), and main resources. In terms of methodology, dialogue of theology with feminist theories and other disciplines (e.g. sociology, gender studies, peace studies, race and ethnicity, postcolonial and development studies, human rights, international relations) is highly encouraged. Co-authorship is also allowed.
The paper should have never been published.
A vetting committee will conduct a blind-review of the submissions to identify those who could be paper-presenters, taking into account the following criteria: relevance to the theme, consideration of the Asian contextual perspective, originality of insight, methodology, and organization of the paper, as well as, representation by country. Two papers will also be chosen for the video-conferencing with Universities in the USA and other continents.
By 15 April 2021, those who have submitted their one-page description of proposed paper will be informed if they have been accepted as paper-presenters at the conference. Due to the pandemic, presentations will be done online. Paper presenters are expected to submit a paper of around 3000-5000 words (including references) on or before 1 October 2021. Selected papers will be published in a Special Issue of a Scopus-indexed journal. The issue will be guest edited by Sr. Rasika Pieris and Dr. Agnes M. Brazal. After the initial screening by the editors, the papers will be subjected to a double blind peer review.
FOR CREATIVE WORK PRESENTERS
Submit a short description (250 words) of the theme, the content, and the mode or medium of presentation (art, play, prayer, poem, song, hypertext explorations, multimedia texts, etc.). The deadline for submission of the description is on 15 April 2021. The creative work must be connected to the theme of the conference. These works can be posted on our website, https://ecclesiaofwomen.com/.
PROCESS OF THE CONFERENCE
The papers will be circulated to all participants for reading before the conference. The conference will consist of plenary and parallel group sessions. The plenary and parallel group sessions will be a time for further discussion and critique of the papers. The conference will provide opportunities for deep reflection and expanding awareness of issues from other Asian countries, input, discussion, prayer and networking.
Those who are interested in writing a paper for this conference must submit a one-page description of the topic on or before 30 March 2021. Those interested in a creative work presentation should submit their application at the latest 15 April 2021. Please use the on-line form provided at the link below.
It is preferable that all correspondence – including sending of the final paper – be done through e-mail to the Secretary: Patricia Santos
Coordinating and Support Team (2020-2022)
▪ Coordinator: Mary Yuen (Hong Kong)
▪ Assistant Coordinator: Rasika Pieris (Sri Lanka)
▪ Secretary: Patricia Santos (India)
▪ Treasurer: Genny Dumay (Philippines)
▪ Consultants: Agnes Brazal (Philippines), Evelyn Monteiro (India), Kristine Meneses (Philippines)
▪ Web Coordinator: Rae Sanchez (Philippines)
▪ Joint Treasurer: Agnes Brazal (Philippines)
▪ Book Editors (EWA 9 – to be published): Mary Yuen and Regina Wolfe (USA)