I'll be chairing the Lincoln Theological Institute's international conference on Intersex, Theology and the Bible at the University of Manchester on Tuesday 12th March 2013. Booking is now open and costs £20 (£10 student/unwaged) for the day, including lunch.
We have a very exciting slate of speakers lined up! They include many of those who've previously written in the area of intersex, theology and religion, and this will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear from all of them in the same setting.
Nathan Carlin, “Middlesex: A Pastoral Theological Reading”
Dr Nathan Carlin is Assistant Professor in the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). He is Director of the Medical Humanities and Ethics Certificate Program for medical students. He is the co-author of two books: Living in Limbo: Life in the Midst of Uncertainty (Cascade, 2010) and 100 Years of Happiness: Insights and Findings from the Experts (Praeger, 2012). He is currently co-authoring Introduction to Medical Humanities. He also has published over 100 essays, articles, and book reviews. Dr Carlin earned a BA in History from Westminster College, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary (with a focus on Pastoral Theology), and an MA and PhD in Religious Studies from Rice University.
Dr Megan K. DeFranza received her PhD from Marquette University in 2011 and is now Adjunct Professor of Theology at Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts. Her doctoral dissertation, “Intersex and Imago: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in Postmodern Theological Anthropology,” brought intersex into conversation with Roman Catholic and Evangelical theological anthropologies. Beginning with the Biblical language of the eunuch, she showed how even conservative religious traditions have resources for the inclusion and care of intersex persons even while they learn from intersex to construct more nuanced visions of human persons made in the image of God. She is revising her dissertation for publication, teaching theology, and lecturing on sexuality, while raising two young girls with her husband in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Dr Stephen Craig Kerry is a recently appointed lecturer at Charles Darwin University, Australia. Over the past decade Dr Kerry has researched the social lives, identities, and relationships of intersex Australians with the aim of increasing broader societal awareness of the issues pertaining to the psycho-social trauma experienced by intersex individuals and their various paths to health and well-being. Most notably this includes an examination of the role of religion and religiosity as a means of support and understanding. Additionally, in recent years Dr Kerry’s research has extended to attempts by mainstream news media to represent intersex to a broader audience. In particular this research consists of content analyses of the news media representation of two intersex women: Australian Kathleen Worrall and South African Caster Semenya. He currently lives in Darwin, Australia.
Dr Joseph A. Marchal is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Women's and Gender Studies, at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. His research and teaching focuses upon biblical studies and critical theories of interpretation, especially feminist, postcolonial, and queer perspectives and practices. Most recently, he is the author of The Politics of Heaven: Women, Gender, and Empire in the Study of Paul (Fortress, 2008), and editor of Studying Paul's Letters: Contemporary Perspectives and Methods (Fortress, 2012). While he is currently preparing a guidebook on Philippians and a second edited collection, he is most particularly focused upon finishing a larger study implementing newer queer approaches to the places Pauline epistles and interpretations deploy a series of perversely feminized figures. Marchal serves on several editorial boards, and as the Chair of the Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible Section (of the Society of Biblical Literature).
Sally Gross is founder and director of Intersex South Africa, a not-for-profit organisation which engages in education and advocacy on behalf of people, particularly in South Africa, who are intersex. Born in South Africa in 1953, it was decided to classify and rear Sally – named "Selwyn" in the vernacular and "Shlomo" in Hebrew – as male. Happily, Sally was spared genital surgery. She benefitted from a thorough Jewish education including an intensive year in an ultra-Orthodox Rabbinical College in the United Kingdom. From her late teens, she involved herself in clandestine anti-Apartheid activity, and had to flee South Africa in 1977, becoming a refugee, to avoid detention and a long prison sentence. She was baptised into the Catholic Church in 1976, although she never surrendered Jewish identity as such, and joined the English Province of the Order of Preachers at the end of 1981, becoming a priest in the Order and earning an MA in philosophy and theology through Blackfriars, Oxford. In 1991, she moved to the Dominican Priory in Cambridge, becoming sub-prior in 1992. At the end of 1992, she sought professional advice about her body, and learned, slowly and by dint of considerable struggle, that she is in fact intersex. Advised professionally to present as female, she is classified as born female by reason of her natal genital phenotype. Disclosure of her discovery that she is intersex to her major religious superior forced her to leave community in 1993, and led to a Papal Rescript in 1994 annulling her religious vows and to her exclusion from the Church in effect, though no formal censure was involved. This also had the effect of making completion of a nearly complete Oxford DPhil thesis on philosophical theology impossible. In 1999, after winning a fifteen month battle to establish that she was a human being in South African law, she was able to return to South Africa, and worked in public service until the end of 2010, also engaging in intersex activism. She has drafted and lobbied two judicial amendments bearing on intersex into South African law. Since January 2011, she has been full-time director of Intersex South Africa.
Revd Dr John Hare (MA, MD, FRCOG) is Quondam Fellow of Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge. He qualified in medicine in 1964. A former consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, he is the author of over 100 scientific papers. He was ordained priest in the Church of England in 2003 and has recently retired from his position as an assistant priest in the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. His writing on intersex and theology includes "'Neither Male Nor Female': The Case of Intersexuality", in Duncan Dormor and Jeremy Morris (eds.) (2007), An Acceptable Sacrifice? Homosexuality and the Church, London: SPCK.
Susannah Cornwall, conference chair
Dr Susannah Cornwall is Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Lincoln Theological Institute, Department of Religions and Theology, University of Manchester, where she leads the Intersex, Identity, Disability: Issues for Public Policy, Healthcare and the Church project. She is the author of Sex and Uncertainty in the Body of Christ: Intersex Conditions and Christian Theology (Equinox, 2010), Controversies in Queer Theology (SCM Press, 2011), and SCM Core Text: Theology and Sexuality (SCM Press, forthcoming 2013). She is editing a special issue of Crucible: The Christian Journal of Social Ethics (July 2013) on sexuality.