SPEAKERS AND PANEL MODERATORS

Annette Williams, Ph.D.

Chair, Women’s Spirituality Program and Associate Professor, California Institute of Integral Studies

Mistress of Ceremonies
Panel Moderator

Annette Williams is chair and core faculty in the Women’s Spirituality program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She holds a doctorate in Philosophy and Religion with specialization in Women’s Spirituality. Research centers on the theme of women’s spiritual power and agency within the Yorùbá Ifá tradition, with specific reference to the primordial feminine authority of àjẹ́. From 2009-10 she served as co-chairperson of the Goddess Studies section of the American Academy of Religion/Western Region. She collaborated with Lucia Birnbaum and Karen Villanueva on the compilation of She is Everywhere! An Anthology of Writing in Womanist/Feminist Spirituality Vol. 2 and has authored “The Divine Feminine in Yoruba Cosmology” found in Goddesses in Myth, History, and Culture. Her entry, “Drumming,” appears in Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture Across History. (awilliams@ciis.edu)

Francesca Tronetti, Ph.D.

Panel Moderator

Francesca Tronetti received her Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Tronetti has written short stories, poetry, and articles for the Return to Mago E-zine. She is currently working on a book about a Goddess-oriented, pagan church in New York. Her research interests include contemporary paganism, the commercialization of spirituality, and folk magic traditions in the United States. She is a devoted scholar and on the editorial board of the new journal S/HE: An International Journal of Goddess Studies. (ftronetti@ymail.com)

Judith Plaskow, Ph.D.

Opening Address:
“Speaking New Words: Carol as Storyteller, Critic, and Thealogian” 

Judith Plaskow and Carol Christ met in graduate school at Yale University, pursuing their Ph.D. degree in religious studies. Both were interested in theology, and they became increasingly interested in feminism while at Yale, and subsequently, as they engaged careers in academia. Together, they have edited two major anthologies centered on women and religion, Womanspirit Rising (1979) and Weaving the Visions (1989) that served to shape the field of feminist studies in religion. Judith authored the first book of Jewish feminist theology, in 1991, Standing Again at Sinai. She has published prolifically since then. In 2011, she was elected President of the American Academy of Religion. Her latest collaboration with Carol Christ was the book they co-authored, Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology. Judith, like Carol, has been a visionary, ahead of her time, who has helped pull our culture forward toward a more just and desirable future. (Judith.plaskow@manhattan.edu)

Mara Lynn Keller, Ph.D.

Opening Address:
“Remembering Her: The Goddess Thealogy of Carol P. Christ, its Ethics and her Ecofeminist Social Jsutice Activism”

Mara Lynn Keller (Ph.D. Philosophy, Yale University) is Emerita Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Women’s Spirituality at the California Institute of Integral Studies and a Goddess thealogian and spiritual feminist philosopher committed to women’s embodied spirituality and multicultural eco-social justice. Publications include “Ritual Path of Initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries,” “Crete of the Mother Goddess,” “Women’s Spirituality and Higher Education,” “Archaeomythology as Academic Field and Methodology,” “Divine Mistresses of Nature, Plants, and Animals: An Ecofeminist Perspective,” and “Holy Lady Wisdom in Anatolia, Land of the Mothers.” As director of Women’s Spirituality Graduate Studies at CIIS (1998-2008), she also co-produced women’s spirituality conferences, art exhibitions, concerts, and journeys. (mkeller@ciis.edu)

Starhawk

In Memoriam Ritual for Carol 

Starhawk is a writer, activist, permaculture designer and teacher, and a leading voice for ecofeminism and earth-based spirituality. She is the author of thirteen books on earth-based spirituality and activism, including The Spiral Dance, The Earth Path, and The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups, on group dynamics and social permaculture, and her novels, The Fifth Sacred Thing and City of Refuge. Together with director Donna Read Cooper, Starhawk has worked on five major documentaries, including the Goddess Trilogy for the National Film Board of Canada and Permaculture: The Growing Edge. Starhawk directs Earth Activist Training, which teaches the tools of regenerative design with a grounding in spirit and focus on social permaculture, organizing and activism. She is on Twitter @Starhawk17 and Facebook. See also:  Campaign for Afghan Refugees and upcoming Spiral Dance ritual. 

PANELISTS

PANEL A. ECOFEMINIST PHILOSOPHY, ART, & ACTIVISM

Beth Bartlett, Ph.D.

“For Love of This Life: Carol Christ’s Contribution to Ecofeminist Thought”

Beth Bartlett, is an educator, author, activist, and spiritual companion.   She is Professor Emerita of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She also served as co-facilitator of the Spirituality Task Force of NWSA. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including Journey of the Heart: Spiritual Insights on the Road to a Transplant,Rebellious Feminism: Camus’s Ethic of Rebellion and Feminist Thought, and Making Waves: Grassroots Feminism in Duluth and Superior. She has been active in feminist, peace and justice, and rights of nature and climate justice movements, and has been a committed advocate for the water protectors. (bbartlet@d.umn.edu)

Marianne Hertnagel, MA 

“Thealogy and Ecology: Finding New Ways of Thinking and Being: An Invitation”

An independent scholar, Marianne Hertnagel earned an MA degree in Philosophy and Religion (CIIS 2008) and a BA in Liberal Arts Humanities (1999 John F. Kennedy University). She was born and raised in Germany, before coming to the USA in 1994. She is an educator/ teacher (Staatlich anerkannter Erzieher, 1983) with specialization in Waldorfkindergarten education (Waldorfkindergarten Seminar, Stuttgart, Germany 1983). She is passionate about teaching, working with children, ecology and sustainability, and how one’s view influences personal choices in regard to how one lives, and relates to the surrounding environment and nature. She is also passionate about how thea/theology, religion, spiritualty, and philosophy relate to the current climate crisis and state of life on earth, and she loves to explore and work on how these fields interrelate with each other, and how thealogy, theology, and philosophy can point to possible answers and new ways of thinking on how to live life more sustainably, and work on eco-philosophical answers in a wider framework of thought. (Marianne.Hertnagel@gmail.com)

Gina Messina, Ph.D.

“She Who Lives: The Eco-Feminist Activism, Sisterhood, and Infinite Wisdom of Carol P. Christ”

Gina Messina is an American feminist scholar, Catholic theologian, activist, and single mom. She serves as Associate Professor and Department Chair of Religious Studies and Executive Director of the Institute for Women at  Ursuline College. She is co-founder of  FeminismAndReligion.com, has written for the Huffington Post, and is author or editor of five books including Faithfully Feminist. Messina has presented across the US at universities, organizations, conferences, and on national platforms including appearances on MSNBC, PBS, NPR, and the  TEDx stage. She has also spoken at the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations to discuss matters impacting the lives of women around the globe. Messina is active in movements to end violence against women and explores opportunities for spiritual healing. Connect with her at  gmessina@ciis.edu,   LinkedIn @GMessinaPh.D., Instagram  @GinaMessinaPh.D., and Facebook

Pamela Eakins, P hD, DD, CHT

“Tribute to Carol Christ” (poem)

Pamela Eakins is a Sociologist, Visionary Cosmologist, Mediator, Priestess, and Interfaith Minister near San Francisco. She has taught at Stanford University and the University of Colorado. Her books include Tarot of the Spirit, Priestess, Lightning Papers, Visionary Cosmology,Terra Nova and others. She teaches, and has a private practice, in-residence and on Zoom. Please visit her on YouTube; for more info:  www.tarotofthespirit.com, www.pacificmysteryschool.com, www.sistersoftheholypen.com

PANEL B. WOMEN & RELIGION: RECLAIMING THE SACRED FEMININE

Elizabeth Ursic, Ph.D.

“Carol Christ: A Trailblazer in the Field of Women and Religion”

Elizabeth Ursic is adjunct faculty at California Institute of Integral Studies. She is author of  Women, Ritual, and Power: Placing Female Imagery of God in Christian Worship (SUNY Press). Her essay, “Christian Feminist Theology and the Arts” appears in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion and Art, and her chapter on “Metaphor” will be forthcoming in an Oxford Press book series on Music and Christian Theology. She holds an MDiv from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Arizona State University. She cochairs the AAR/SBL Women’s Caucus and was the Women’s Task Force chair for the 2018 Parliament of World Religions. Her research interests include religion, imagination, the arts, and gender. Her music albums include  Gratitude (2020) and  Unspoken Touch (2015). In her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, Elizabeth is a professor of Religious Studies at Mesa Community College and a spiritual director at the Franciscan Renewal Center. (elizabeth.ursic@gmail.com)

Kathleen McPhillips, Ph.D.

“The Archbishop and the Feminist Thealogian: Challenging Patriarchal Culture in Sydney Australia, 2005”

Kathleen McPhillips is a sociologist of religion and gender in the school of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Her areas of research are gender, feminism and religion and she employs feminist sociological frameworks to issues around women and religion particularly around questions of the state and religious freedom, LGBTQI+ and gender-based violence in religious institutions. Kathleen has published extensively in this field and has numerous research grants. Her most recent book is an edited collection with Naomi Goldenberg (University of Ottawa) titled The End of Religion: Feminist Reappraisals of the State (Routledge, 2021). (kathleen.mcphillips@newcastle.edu.au)

Barbara Jane Davy, Ph.D.

"Hail to Carol Christ: A Memorial Toast to a New Ancestor in a Canadian Heathen Tradition"

Barbara Jane Davy is the author of  Introduction to Pagan Studies and editor of the three-volume collection  Paganism: Critical Concepts in Religion.  She has earned doctorates in religion (Concordia University) as well as environmental studies (University of Waterloo).  She has taught courses in religion and ecology, sustainability thought, and Big History at Concordia University, Carleton University, and the University of Waterloo. (barbarajanedavy@gmail.com)

Purushottama Bilimoria, Ph.D.

“The Missing Goddess: Too Late for India; Too Early for the West”

Purushottama Bilimoria works in Indian & Cross-Cultural philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, and Critical Thinking. A Lead Scientist at Purushottama Centre for Study of Indian Philosophy and Culture at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, he is also a Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Co-founder of Australasian Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, he serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Sophia International Journal of Philosophy and Traditions and Journal of Dharma Studies. Recent publications include:   History of Indian Philosophy (with A. Rayner, 2019), Religion and Sustainability (with R. D. Sherma, 2021), Contemplative Studies and Hinduism (with R. D. Sherma, 2021); Indian Ethics Vol. 2 (with A. Rayner & R. Sharma, 2022). (pbilimoria@outlook.com)

PANEL C. GODDESS STUDIES, THEALOGY, & EGALITARIAN MATRIARCHAL STUDIES 

Joan Marler, MA

“Honoring Carol P. Christ and Her Acknowledgement of Marija Gimbutas”

Joan Marler is the Executive Director of the Institute of Archaeomythology. She is the author (with Harald Haarmann) of Introducing the Mythological Crescent (2008), and she is the editor of The Civilization of the Goddess by Marija Gimbutas (1991), From the Realm of the Ancestors: An Anthology in Honor of Marija Gimbutas (1997), The Journal of Archaeomythology (2005-present), The Danube Script (2008), and other publications. Joan lectures internationally on the life and work of Marija Gimbutas and is the author of more than forty published articles, including a biographical article about Marija Gimbutas in Harvard's Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary. (jmarler@archaeomythology.org)

In Hui Lee, Ph.D. 

"A Journey toward the Goddess: Translating Rebirth of the Goddess by Carol P. Christ into Korean by the Academy Halmi of South Korea"

In Hui (Inhui) Lee is a lecturer, freelancer, translator, activist, and she practices Goddessing.  She is the mother of two and grandmother of one.   Born in South Korea, in the middle of the Korean War (1950-1953), she later became an immigrant to the US. Once a hippie traveler and tattoo artist, she went on to earn her Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion and Women’s Spirituality at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. She has been engaged with many activities in her Korean-American community in the San Francisco Bay Area and abroad, including the Goddess movement in South Korea. Currently she is a member of the Academy Halmi of South Korea and a founding member of Musok in Diaspora (MiD) Study group. (darkrivergoddess2003@yahoo.com)

Nané Jordan, Ph.D.

“Love at the Centre: Living Goddess Studies with Carol P. Christ”

Nané Jordan, is a Goddess scholar, birth-keeper, artist, community worker, and mother of two daughters. She is devoted to women’s spirituality, the divine feminine/female, Mother Earth, the maternal gift economy, and goddessing worldwide. Active in mother-centered birth for over 30 years, she is a co-creatrix in the contemporary field of Goddess studies where she develops thealogies of birth. She has published widely, including editing the anthologies,  Placenta Wit: Mother Stories, Rituals, and Research (2017), and  Pagan, Goddess, Mother (2021). Jordan completed an MA in Women’s Spirituality (New College of California) and a Ph.D. in Education (University of British Columbia), and she was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Paris, France. (nanay6of8@hotmail.com)

Lisa Christie, Ph.D.

“Carol P. Christ’s Feminist Philosophy of Religion: Appreciation and Expansion for Spiritual Feminists Believing in Life-After-Death and the Practice of Divination”

Lisa M. Christie  is adjunct faculty and writer, specializing in eco-feminist philosophy, process philosophy, Goddess thealogy, and the study of psychic and spiritual experiences and the implications of these experiences for metaphysics.  Lisa earned her doctoral degree in philosophy and religion, with a concentration in Women's Spirituality from CIIS; her master's degree from Santa Clara University; and her coaching certification from the International Coach Academy. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses since 2006 and is presently an adjunct senior lecturer at CIIS. Her upcoming book is  Reality Unbound: A New Science Exploration of Psychic Experiences and the Conscious World in Which We Live. (lchristie@ciis.edu)

PANEL D. WOMEN’S SPIRITUAL PILGRIMAGE 

Laura Shannon

“Pilgrim of the Goddess: Carol P. Christ and Her Life in Greece”

Laura Shannon is a “grandmother” of the worldwide Sacred/Circle Dance network, researching and teaching traditional women’s circle dances for over thirty years. She holds degrees in Dance Movement Therapy; Intercultural Studies; Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred; and is a Ph.D. candidate, University of Gloucester (UK). She is a faculty member at the Findhorn Foundation Sacred Dance Department; Founding Director, Athena Institute for Women’s Dance and Culture; Honorary Lifetime Member, Sacred Dance Guild. As Carol P. Christ's literary executor, Laura will work to preserve Carol's literary legacy; as new Director of the Ariadne Institute for the Study of Myth and Ritual, she will continue leading Carol's Goddess Pilgrimage on Crete.

Irene Plunkett, Ph.D.

“Carol Christ and Women’s Spiritual Quest: Shaping a New Lens for Reading Literature”

Irene Plunkett works on the higher education project of Veriditas, creating webinars promoting the use of labyrinths in colleges and universities; she sits on their board as well.  Currently a student at The Chaplaincy Institute, Irene is studying spiritual direction and chaplaincy. She is retired from a 30-year career teaching English, ESL (English as a Second Language), Women’s Studies, and Religious Studies at Chabot College in Hayward, California. She completed her doctorate in Philosophy, Religion, and Women’s Spirituality at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. (iplunkett@sbcglobal.net)

Susan Swan

“A Personal History of Carol Christ”

A novelist and an activist with international publications, Susan Swan's acclaimed feminist fiction has been published in eighteen countries and translated into eight languages. Her 2004 novel What Casanova Told Meused Christ’s works as background for writing about characters interested in Goddess spirituality. In 2019, Swan published her eighth book of fiction, The Dead Celebrities Club, described in the Globe and Mail as "a tale of greed, hubris and fraud...a financial fable worthy of the age." The Wives of Bath, her international bestseller, was made into the feature film Lost and Delirious that premiered at Sundance and was shown in 32 countries. She was a tenured professor in creative writing at York University in Toronto before retiring from teaching. (sswan@yorku.ca)

Elizabeth Kenneday, Ph.D.

“Transformation Through Experience: Carol Christ’s Journey as Priestess and Seeker”

Elizabeth Kenneday, an Emeritá Professor of Art at the California State University in Long Beach, is an artist and author. A recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship at the University of Iceland, her activities in environmental education through art have led to numerous lectures at international conferences in Europe and North America, and her writings on the subject have appeared in various publications. Her artworks have been exhibited internationally and widely collected, and she has been the recipient of many awards, most recently a Julia Margaret Cameron award in the Cell Phone photography category. Her book Regarding Mono Lake: Novelty and Delight at an Inland Sea, released in 2014, received an Eric Hoffer Finalist Award in Small Press Publishing in the Art category. Her most recent publication is a contribution to the anthology, Feminist Pilgrimages: Journeys of Discovery, edited by Stacy Russo (Litwin Books, 2020). She currently lives with her husband in Reno, Nevada. (elizabeth.kenneday-corathers@csulb.edu)

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