Here at WIT we are very excited to announce the addition of four new regular contributors to the blog! We received applications from women around the world who are doing wonderful things in a variety of areas of theology. Unfortunately, we were not able to accept everyone at once, but definitely follow our blog for notifications for future calls for contributors.
Starting in July, we are adding Candice Laughinghouse, Caroline Morris, Jessica Gapasin Dennis, and Kristen Daley Mosier (who formerly wrote for us as a guest poster).
We will also be welcoming several guest posters, starting in the fall, so keep your eye out for posts from them. They will be introduced when we welcome them as guest posters.
Join us in welcoming our new WIT bloggers!
Candace Laughinghouse is a doctoral student at Chicago Theological Seminary. She is currently in the exam phase of her program with the plan to finish her dissertation in May 2019. From the outside, many will see her as a student of everything in life. Education has taken her around the world, presenting on panels in India, Mexico, Oxford, and many other places throughout the USA. While pursuing her degree, she tries her best (and fails often) as a wife and mother to three naturally born inquisitive daughters being cultivated to become compassionate leaders for tomorrow. Prior to her doctoral program, she received degrees from the University of California at Berkeley (B.A. in Political Science), Candler School of Theology * Emory University (M.Div.), and Duke Divinity School (Th.M.). These years also involved certificate programs in language (NC State – German & Harvard Divinity School – Early Bible Greek) and Black Theology and Leadership (Princeton Theological Seminary). Her theological interests represent an interconnectedness not traditionally seen in the academy – addressing sexism, ecology, animal rights, and patriarchy through a womanist lens. Friends, mentors and even strangers express interest in her research but this pathway has been lonely. Adding in being a woman, married, and parent and the journey involves an even more isolated life of trying to have difficult conversations across the aisle. Overall, her interests involve creating space for decolonizing already institutionalized subject areas of ecology and anti-speciesism from a womanist lens. For now, she would categorize her research as being both ecowomanist and anti-speciesist. There are great challenges and awkward moments when bringing up the connection of the mistreatment of animals alongside the mistreatment of black and brown bodies. But how else can we have an authentic deconstruction of patriarchy except through total awareness of the interconnectedness of evil that seeks to destroy all of God’s creation. This is where womanist theology empowers her to continue to be a voice for all the voiceless in the world. Liberation for her, as a black woman, is about a renewal of life for all of God’s creation. Her hope is that her research not only benefits the academy but reaches the entire world. We read of Jesus’ ministry and the many sermons preached in the Gospel writings. Most of his sermons were given outside among nature. His sermons were accessible to the entire world and not just among those who practiced the art of preaching. May the words that she shares reach beyond academic converts and impact the world. Here are two of her favorite quotes:
“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.” (Alice Walker)
“The fight for justice cannot be segregated but must be integrated with the fight for life in all its forms.” (James Cone)
Caroline Morris will resume working on her M.Div. at Earlham School of Religion, a Quaker seminary in Indiana, starting in the fall. She began her degree at Portland Seminary, where she wrote a thesis on the connection between anorexia and asceticism. Her thesis was also an exploration of connections between anorexia with spirituality, fasting and chastity in church history, western evangelical dieting culture, and sexuality. She is particularly interested in the intersection between eating disorders and cultural attitudes about death. Her interest in these topics is personal and lasting. Caroline holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Azusa Pacific University, and she believes it was there that she discovered that her main interest, perhaps, is writing. Although she is decisively “in the hallway” and not comfortable identifying with any particular religion, denomination, or group, she still finds herself most interested in writing about theology, spirituality, and religion. Lastly, Caroline is overly interested in the Enneagram and, as an Enneagram Five, will happily overanalyze most subjects with most anyone, so long as she feels she has the necessary energy.
Jessica Gapasin Dennis is the daughter of immigrant parents, whose identity is rooted in their legacy of crossing borders and leaving familiar places for a future unknown. Put more plainly (and less dramatically), Jessica writes through the lens of a first generation-born Filipino-American who, in more ways than one, often straddles the lines between seemingly disparate and contradictory worlds. While born and raised Catholic, her faith began to blossom as an adolescent/teenager (a tween, if you will) in the context of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and has unfolded and flourished over the years through a diverse set of experiences both within the Catholic Church and Christianity as a whole. Her street cred includes a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (liturgical focus) from the Washington Theological Union (Integrating Paper: “Liturgical Inculturation: A Reflection on the Filipino-American Context”), along with background theology coursework through the Distance Learning Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Her favorite part of grad school was being introduced to Rahner and feminist theology, and just in the past few months, rekindled her love of the Examen and all things Ignatian. She most recently served as a Director of Religious Education for a large parish in northern Virginia before becoming a stay-at-home mom in 2013. You can read a more detailed bio here. Jessica also writes from the perspective of a Catholic married to a Protestant, and so ecumenism and Christian unity are always on her mind when she writes about her faith. She is honored to be counted among this group of women scholars and aims to be a voice of unity and hope in a time where division and discord seem to be the norm. In writing for Women in Theology, her prayer is the same as Christ’s over 2,000 years ago: “…that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21 NABRE).
Kristen Daley Mosier completed her M.Div. at Fuller Seminary Northwest (Seattle) in 2012, and is currently mid-way through a PhD program in theology & ethics at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Based in the Pacific Northwest, her research interests explore intersections of creation, spirit, materiality, and place. When water is life from a biotic, historical and theological standpoint, how might we better come to understand baptismal waters as source, particularly in terms of the formation of persons and communities following Jesus Christ? What is the connection between the trails we hike on Saturday and the music of Sunday morning? In her research, Kristen takes as a given polyvalent ways of knowing God in and through ‘this’ community of creation (wherever ‘this’ may be). Kristen has spent over a decade with the Vineyard church, thinking and writing from the vantage point of the now/not yet reign of God as experienced through the formative act of worship. This perspective has led her to explore entanglements of Trinitarian language, phenomenology, theological anthropology, and the sacramentality of creation. Currently she and her spouse worship with an Episcopal community that has a beautiful rain garden, as well as a history of charismatic renewal and decades of feeding the community. She loves other people’s pets, listening to the local independent radio station, and book shopping. One day she just might start roasting coffee or brewing beer.