Womenâ€™s Journeys in the Study of Religion
Adventures in Gender, Postmodernism, Postcolonialism and Globalization
In 1995, Professor Ursula King published an edited volume, Religion and Gender. This volume comprised a collection of essays that had been presented at the International Association of the History of Religions (IAHR) conference in Rome, 1990. As such, it marked a milestone: it was the first published volume that featured work undertaken solely by women in the history of the IAHR. In her own Introduction, Professor King drew attention to a number of important topics, such as â€˜genderâ€™, â€˜postmodernismâ€™, that were being debated at that time. The volume remains a testament to Professor King, and her dedication to, as well as support of womenâ€™s scholarship in the discipline on the Study of Religions, and to what was then called Comparative Religion. A subsequent volume, edited together with Tina Beattie, Gender, Religion and Diversity: Cross Cultural Perspectives (2004), addressed more complex issues that had emerged in the intervening years. This later volume provided another platform from which to explore not only developments in gender, but a number of other crucial topics, including postcolonialism and globalization. In this essay, I propose to follow the effects of such issues as addressed or acknowledged by Professor King in her various works, as well as to examine the further expansion and qualification of these topics in more recent years. This essay will thus explore issues that have had a formative and even decisive influence on the way that women scholars in the Study of Religions today approach the discipline. I will look to certain of my own essays that appeared in Professor Kingâ€™s edited volumes as well as essays by other contemporary women scholars in order to illustrate these developments.