December 21, 2001

Contact: Sarah Ray
802-443-5794
sray@middlebury.edu
Posted: November 7, 2001

MIDDLEBURY, VT - The role of women in religion, from Buddhism and Christianity to Judaism, will be the topic of the fourth Charles P. Scott Symposium at Middlebury College from Jan. 14-18. The event, titled "Women in Religion," includes a community forum featuring local religious leaders and four lectures by speakers from a variety of institutions, including Harvard Divinity School, the University of California, the University of Wisconsin, and the Boston-based Jewish Women's Archive. Additional events related to the symposium - a dance performance and a lecture - will take place Jan. 19 and 23 respectively. All events are open to the public and, with the exception of the dance performances, are free.

E. Burke Rochford Jr., Middlebury College professor of sociology and religion, organized the symposium. According to Rochford, faculty designed the curriculum for the College's upcoming January semester so that four of the 108 courses offered pertain to women in religion. Students taking any one of these four courses also will participate in the symposium led by a nationally recognized group of scholars.

"Because each student takes one course in January, he or she truly can explore a single subject from multiple angles," said Rochford.

The symposium will begin on Monday, Jan. 14, at 7:30 p.m. with a community forum, "Redefining Women of the Spirit: Reflections on Women in Religious Life," in the Robert A. Jones House on Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125). Local clergy participating in the panel discussion will be: Catherine Nichols of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Middlebury; Johanna Nichols of the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society; Ira Schiffer, associate chaplain of Middlebury College and rabbi of Havurah Addison County; Father John McDermott of the Catholic Center at the University of Vermont (formerly of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church); and Jill Colley of Vergennes United Methodist Church.

At 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17, Ann Braude, director of the women's studies in religion program and senior lecturer in American religious history at the Harvard Divinity School, will give a lecture titled "Women's History IS Religious History."
Later the same day at 1:30 p.m., Paula Nesbitt, visiting associate professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, will give a talk on "Transforming Tradition: Women in Christianity in America."

On Friday, Jan. 18, at 10 a.m., the symposium will continue with a lecture by Rita Gross, professor emerita of religion at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, on "Buddhism and Gender: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Issues."

At 1:30 p.m. that afternoon, Historian in Residence Karla Goldman of the Jewish Women's Archive will give a discussion on "Beyond the Synagogue Gallery: Men, Women and the Reframing of American Judaism."

All lectures on Jan. 17 and 18 will take place in Room 216 of Bicentennial Hall on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125).

Events related to the symposium include the Dance Company of Middlebury's performance of the new work "Path" at 8 p.m. on Jan. 18-19, in the Center for the Arts Dance Theatre on South Main Street (Route 30). Under the direction of Middlebury College Professor of Dance Andrea Olsen, this year's company will create a work that engages dance as a medium for environmental awareness. "Path" includes commissioned, original music by composer Mike Vargas, a lecturer and accompanist at the University of Colorado.

The Saturday, Jan. 19, performance of "Path" will be preceded by a 6:30 p.m. discussion on dance as a ritual with Olsen and Middlebury College Professor of English and Environmental Studies John Elder.

The environmental set designed by Robert Ferris and featuring representations of the five elements will also be on display in the Dance Theatre Jan. 14-18, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Ferris is a painter and sculptor whose works have been exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He has lived in Windsor, Vt., since 1971 and has collaborated with Olsen on previous occasions.

Another related event, a gallery talk titled "Visualizing Ecstatic Experience in the 17th Century: Tommaso Amantini's St. Teresa in Middlebury's Permanent Collection," will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 4:30 p.m. Middlebury College Professor of History of Art and

Architecture John Hunisak will give the lecture in the Middlebury College Museum of Art in the Center for the Arts on South Main Street (Route 30).

For more information, contact Charlene Barrett of the Middlebury College religion department at 802-443-5289.

To follow are events calendar listings:

Events Calendar Listings:

"Women in Religion"
Middlebury College Charles P. Scott Symposium and Related Events
Jan. 14-23

Monday, Jan. 14
7:30 p.m.
Community Forum: "Redefining Women of the Spirit: Reflections on Women in Religious Life," panel discussion involving local clergy: Catherine Nichols of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Middlebury; Johanna Nichols of Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society; Ira Schiffer, associate chaplain of Middlebury College and rabbi of Havurah Addison County; Father John McDermott of the Catholic Center at the University of Vermont (formerly at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church); and Jill Colley of Vergennes United Methodist Church.
Middlebury College, Robert A. Jones House, Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125)
Free


Thursday, Jan. 17

10 a.m.
Lecture: "Women's History IS Religious History" by Ann Braude, director of the women's studies in religion program and senior lecturer in American religious history, Harvard Divinity School
Middlebury College Bicentennial Hall, Room 216, Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125)
Free

1:30 p.m.
Lecture: "Transforming Tradition: Women in Christianity in America" by Paula Nesbitt, visiting associate professor of sociology, University of California at Berkeley
Middlebury College Bicentennial Hall, Room 216, Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125)
Free


Friday, Jan. 18

10 a.m.
Lecture: "Buddhism and Gender: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Issues" by Rita Gross, professor emerita of religion, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Middlebury College Bicentennial Hall, Room 216, Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125)
Free

1:30 p.m.
Lecture: "Beyond the Synagogue Gallery: Men, Women and the Reframing of American Judaism" by Karla Goldman, historian in residence, Jewish Women's Archive
Middlebury College Bicentennial Hall, Room 216, Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125)
Free

8 p.m.
Dance Performance: "Path" performed by the Dance Company of Middlebury is a new work directed by Middlebury College Professor of Dance Andrea Olsen that engages dance as a medium for environmental awareness. "Path" includes commissioned, original music by composer Mike Vargas, a lecturer and accompanist at the University of Colorado.
Middlebury College Center for the Arts Dance Theatre, South Main Street (Route 30).
Tickets are $5 for general admission and $4 for seniors. Contact the Middlebury College Center for the Arts box office at 802-443-6433 for tickets and information.


Saturday, Jan. 19

6:30 p.m.
Discussion followed by dance performance: A discussion about dance as a ritual with Middlebury College Professors Andrea Olsen of dance and John Elder of English and environmental studies will precede the evening dance performance of "Path" at 8 p.m.
Middlebury College Center for the Arts Dance Theatre, South Main Street (Route 30).
Free

8 p.m.
Dance Performance: "Path" performed by the Dance Company of Middlebury is a new work directed by Middlebury College Professor of Dance Andrea Olsen that engages dance as a medium for environmental awareness. "Path" includes commissioned, original music by composer Mike Vargas, a lecturer and accompanist at the University of Colorado. "Path" will be preceded by a discussion at 6:30 p.m. about dance as a ritual.
Middlebury College Center for the Arts Dance Theatre, South Main Street (Route 30).
Tickets are $5 for general admission and $4 for seniors. Contact the Middlebury College Center for the Arts box office at 802-443-6433 for tickets and information.


Wednesday, Jan. 23

4:30 p.m.
Gallery Talk: "Visualizing Ecstatic Experience in the 17th Century: Tommaso Amantini's St. Teresa in Middlebury's Permanent Collection," Middlebury College Professor of History of Art and Architecture John Hunisak
Middlebury College Museum of Art, Center for the Arts Building, South Main Street (Route 30)
Free


For more information, contact Charlene Barrett of the Middlebury College religion department at 802-443-5289.

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