Mothering, Religion and Spirituality

Date : October 24-26, 2003

Date : Atkinson College, York University, Toronto, Canada

Friday, October 24

10:30 – 11:30am Registration and Coffee/Muffins
11:30 – 1:00pm Session A

Panel A1: JEWISH MOTHERING (109 Atkinson)
Chair: Marion Gold (OISE/University of Toronto) “Mothering within the Sheltering Arms of Religion and Spirituality”
Faydra Shapiro (Wilfrid Laurier University) “Wanting to be a Jewish Mother: Jewish Women and the Quest to Conceive”
Rosie Rosenzweig (Brandeis University) “The Changing Face of Jewish Maternal Models: From Old Patriarchy to the New Jewish Feminism”
Paulette Kouffman (Psychological Services and Human Development Center, Swarthmore, PA, USA) “The Feminine Divine in Judaism”

Panel A2: MOTHER GODDESSES (004 Atkinson)
Chair: Chris Klassen (York University) “The Infertile Goddess: Challenging Maternal Imagery in Feminist Witchcraft”
Melinda Harthcock (Pacifica Graduate Institute) “And She Was Made Flesh: Re-assessing the Meaning of Mother Goddess”
Jennifer Balke (University of Kansas) ‘The Triple Goddess: Women in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”
Menoukha Case (SUNY University atAlbany) “Gelede: Revelations of the Mother Through a West African Ritual”

Panel A3 MOTHERING AND HINDU (222 Atkinson)
Chair: Ram Prasad Adhikari (Foundation for Spiritual Heritage Preservation & Social Welfare, Nepal) “Empowering the Hindu Mother”

1:00 – 1:15pm Break
1:15 – 2:45pm Session B

Panel B1: MOTHERING IN THE HEBREW BIBLE (222 Atkinson)
Chair: Ruby Newman (York University) “The Birthing Narrative in the Book of Ruth”
Linda Ennis (York University) “Mothers of the Nation in Religious History: The Book of Esther”

Panel B2: MARIOLOGY (004 Atkinson)
Chair: Carol Duncan (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Marie Porter (University of Queensland, Australia) “Women, Mary and Mother Images: A Feminist Interpretation of the Role of Mary”
Dianne Bergsma (Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto) “Stabat Mater
Nane Jordan (New College of California) “Mary and Me: A Post_Feminist Heuristic Inquiry”

Panel B3: MOTHERS AS RELIGIOUS LEADERS (109 Atkinson)
Chair: Ginger Hanks Harwood (La Sierra University) “‘She Sinks into a Mere Household Drudge:’ Ellen Harmon White and the Conflict Between Religious Imperative and Domestic Duty”
Julieanna Frost (Union Institute and University) “Remembering Mum Beall”
Nina Reid-Maroney (University of Windsor) “Mother/Midwife and the ‘New Birth:’ A Resurrection Story”
Virginia Davis Nordin (University of Kentucky) “St. Nino of Georgia to Mary Baher Eddy: Motherhood, Religion and Spiritual Healing”

2:45 – 3:00pm Break
3:00 – 5:00pm Keynote Address

THE FIERCE MOTHER: NURTURING AS A COUNTER-FORCE TO VIOLENCE (Burton Auditorium)

Starhawk (author & activist, San Francisco)

5:00 – 7:00pm Wine and Cheese Reception, Book signing

Saturday, October 25

8:30 – 9:00am Registration and Coffee/Muffins
9:00 – 10:30am Keynote Panel 1

MOTHERS AND MOTHERHOOD, ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL (109 Atkinson)
Chair: Andrea O’Reilly (York University)
Fran Beer (York University) “Medieval Mystical Mothers: Hildegard, Mechthild and Julian”
Johanna Stuckey (York University) “Ancient Mother Goddesses and Fertility Cults”
Becky Lee (York University) “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Motherhood in Medieval Europe”

10:30 – 10:45am Refreshment Break
10:45 – 12:15pm Session C

Panel C1: BUDDHISM AND MOTHERS (Vari Hall 1154)
Chair: Marybeth White (Wilfrid Laurier University) “Pratitya-Samutpada: Interbeing and the Spiritual Journey of Mothering”
Karen N. Villaneuva (California Institute of Integral Studies) “The Love of the Mother in Buddhism”

Panel C2: RITUALS AND RITES OF PASSAGE: MOTHERING AND BIRTHING (004 Atkinson)
Chair: Heather Mains (doula, Toronto) “Spiritual Midwifery: A doula’s intense and intimate dance with a birthing woman”
Diane S. Speier (University of Sheffield, UK) “The Spirit of Childbirth”

Panel C3 SELF-INTERPRETATION AND WOMEN’S BODIES (222 Atkinson)
Chair: Rebecca Todd Peters (Elon University) “Fluid Moral Boundaries Between the Pregnant Woman and the Fetus”
Cynthia Rudolph (College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University) “Purging God the Father, Eating God the Mother: Images of God in Experiences of Bulimia”
robin a. cryderman (University of Victoria) “Tantric Mommies”

Panel C4: PROBLEMATICS OF MATERNAL SPIRITUALITY: QUESTIONING RESISTANCE AND EMPOWERMENT Part 1 (109 Atkinson)
Chair: Chris Klassen (York University)
Justyna Szachowicz-Sempruch (University of British Columbia) “The (Sacred) Mothers and the (Evil) Witches”
Taina Chahal (York University) ‘The Ascension of Houria”
Kristina LaCelle-Peterson (Houghton College) and Linda Quinlan-Rus (Roberts Wesleyan College) “Caring for Self and Others: The Role of Spirituality in this Age-old Mother’s Dilemma”

12:15 – 1:15pm Lunch (on your own)
1:15 – 3:00pm Session D

Panel D1 PROBLEMATICS OF MATERNAL SPIRITUALITY: QUESTIONING RESISTANCE AND EMPOWERMENT Part 2 (004 Atkinson)
Chair: Brydon Gombay (Centre for Research in Women’s Health, Toronto) “How Helpful is Religion? Mothers of Young Adults with Disabilities Speak Out”
Tina Managhan (York University) “(M)Others, Biopolitics, and the Gulf War”
Marie Porter (University of Queensland, Australia) “Christianity as a Constraint on Australian Mothers”

Panel D2: POETRY READINGS (222 Atkinson)
Chair: Becky Lee (York University)
Michelle DeRose (Aquinas College) “Lessons from the Unknown Interior of Motherhood”
Cassie Premo Steele (University of South Carolina) “Her Bodies, Her Spirits: Poems for Many Mothers”
Rosie Rosenzweig (Brandeis University) “Spiritual Jewish Matriarchal Poetry: A Reading”
Brenda Clews (York University) “Bliss Queen”

Panel D3: COMPLICATIONS – THE MATERNAL AND THE SPIRITUAL IN WOMEN’S LITERATURE (Vari Hall 1154)
Chair: robin a. cryderman (University of Victoria) “Revisioning our Motherlines: Lady Caroline Frankenstein and the Lost Lineage of Wise Women in Theodore Roszak’s The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein”
Birgit Schmidt-Rosemann (University of New Mexico) “‘I Had Still Cause of Mourning:’ The Role of Motherhood in Questioning Puritan Doctrine in Mary White Rowlandson’s and Anne Bradstreet’s Writings”
Nathalie Foy (University of Toronto) “The Absent Mother, Genetic Engineering and Reversion to Patriarchal Religion in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake”
Elvira Casal (Middle Tennessee State University) “Mother Church and Great Mother: Brontë’s Villette as Spiritual Quest for the Mother”

Panel D4: MEANINGS OF MOTHERHOOD (109 Atkinson)
Chair: Chris Klassen (York University)
Jane Moulaison (University of Lethbridge) “Beyond Compulsory Motherhood: Christianity, Religion and Spirituality”
Debra Brenegan (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) “Bad Mothers/Good Mothers: A History of the Social Construction of Motherhood”
Stephanie Wasserman (Endicott College) “Admirable Foster Parents: Their Motivation, Stories and Resilience”
Suzanne Evans (University of Ottawa) “Three Stories of Mothers of Martyrs”
Sabah Uddin (University of South Florida) “The Woman Question: The Gandhian Perspective”

3:00 – 3:15pm Refreshment Break
3:15 – 5:00pm Session E

Panel E1: MOTHERING IN ISLAM (Vari Hall 1154)
Chair: Kittye Robbins-Herring (Mississippi State University) “Maternal Subjectivity in the Works of Andrée Chedid”
Hinna Mirza Upal “A Celebration of Mothering in Islam”

Panel E2: THE MATERNAL IN INDIGENOUS NORTH AMERICAN SPIRITUALITY (222 Atkinson)
Chair: Chris Klassen (York University)
Gudrun M. Grabher (University of Innsbruck, Austria) “Thinking the World into Being: Thought Women and Female Creation myths in Native US-American and Canadian Literature and Culture”
Kanonhsionni/Janice Corinne Hill (Turtle Clan Mother, First Nations Technical Institute) and Iehnhotonkwas/Bonnie Jane Maracle (Trent University) “Mother Earth: A Haudenosaunee Women’s Perspective”

Panel E3 MOTHERING, SPIRITUALITY AND CREATIVE EXPRESSION (004 Atkinson)
Chair: Linda Hunter (University of Guelph)
Meg Landers (artist, US) “A Mother and an Artist”
Alison Bartlett (University of Southern Queensland, Australia) “Reinventing the Madonna: Iconising Breastfeeding in the Visual Arts”

Panel E4: MATERNAL SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE (109 Atkinson)
Chair: Joonok Huh (University of Northern Colorado) “Changing Ideology and Spirituality in Motherhood”
Brenda Clews (York University) “Mother-of-Milk”
Trudelle Thomas (Xavier University) “Composing a Life: Mothers and Relational Consciousness”
Beatrix Prinsen (Brock University) “When “Postpartum” Depression Lingers for Years”

5:00pm Reception
6:00 – 7:30pm Keynote Address

IS GOD THE FATHER PREGNANT? IF SO, WHERE IS GOD THE MOTHER? (109 Atkinson)
Alicia Ostriker (Rutgers University)

Sunday, October 26

9:30 – 10:00am Coffee and Muffins
10:00 – 11:45am Session F

Panel F1: MOTHERHOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST: A JEWISH EXPERIENCE (109 Atkinson)
Chair: Dalia Ofer (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) “Mothering Under Seige: Methodological Aspects of Holocaust Research”
Michal Unger (Ashkelon College) “Parenthood in the Lodz Ghetto”
Sharon Kangisser-Cohen (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) “Longing for the Family: Children Survivors Remember their Mothers”
Iael Nidam-Orvietto (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) “Jewish Mothers Facing Antisemitic Legislation in Fascist Italy”

Panel F2: DEMETER AND PERSEPHONE: SPIRITUAL MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS (222 Atk.)
Chair: Rita Roussos (College of Southeastern Europe, Greece) “Breasts and Kalathoi: A “Reading” of Motherhood in Images from Ancient Greek Art and Literature”
Nili Kozlowsky (University of Leslie) “Being a Mother to a Mother: Relations of Mothers and Daughters Who Have Become Mothers”
Brenda L. Blondeau (York University) “Mothers and Daughters: Spiritually Inter/Connected”

Panel F3: COMMUNAL MOTHERING: PRIMAL WISDOM IN CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT (004 Atkinson)
with LaLita Jamila Hodari Martin, Mosi Mays-Mirembe and Upesi S. Mtambuzi (Sisters of Tomorrow)

11:45 – 12:00 Refreshment Break
12:00 – 1:30pm Keynote Panel 2

RE-WRITING AND RE-VISIONING MOTHERHOOD (109 Atkinson)
Chair: Johanna Stuckey (York University)
Carol Duncan (Wilfrid Laurier University) “Hard Labour: Religion, Sexuality and the Pregnant Body in the African Diaspora”
Pamela Klassen (University of Toronto) “Agency and Experience: Birth and the Power of Religious Interpretation”