Karen Jo Torjesen, Professor of Religion, Speaks at Scripps College

CLAREMONT, California - March 1, 2010

Karen Jo Torjesen, Margo L. Goldsmith Professor of Women’s Studies at Claremont Graduate University, visits Scripps College to talk about “Lessons from Africa: Scholar/Activist — A New Paradigm for Education,” on Wednesday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. The event, which takes place in the Hampton Room, Malott Commons, is the 2010 Kathleen O’Brien Wicker Endowment Lecture. The event is free and open to the public.

Torjesen’s speech on the globalization of feminism and the women’s movement examines how research tools employed in industrialized countries have been applied by women scholars in developing nations for the purposes of social change.

With the globalization of the women’s movement, women scholars in developing countries are not only using their scholarship for social change but they are also involved in grassroots activism. Torjesen addresses questions such as: What is the relationship between their scholarship and their activism? What do we have to learn from them?

Professor Torjesen has published numerous books on Christianity, including her most recent, When Women Were Priests: Women’s Leadership in the Early Church and the Scandal of their Subordination in the Rise of Christianity. Torjesen’s research interests include constructions of gender and sexuality in early Christianity, authority, and institutionalization in the early churches.

Torjesen’s lecture takes place during the inaugural year of Scripps College’s eighth president, Lori Bettison-Varga. The Inauguration theme is “The Genius of Women.” Throughout the 2009-10 academic year, guest speakers, writers, scientists, artists, and other thought leaders will engage students and faculty in discussions about the transformative power of genius, and how creative and intellectual genius are so essential in today’s changing world, especially from women, for women.

Kathleen O’Brien Wicker Endowed Lecture: This annual lecture was established by students, trustees, and friends of Kathleen O’Brien Wicker, who retired as Mary W. Johnson and J. Stanley Johnson Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies in 2003. Professor Wicker had served on the faculty of Scripps College for 32 years. The Endowment’s goal is to continue Wicker’s interdisciplinary and multicultural approach to feminist biblical studies by brining a theological scholar to campus each year to lecture on a religious studies topic.