2018 Lent Lecture. When Did We See You Naked?
Wellington Cathedral of Saint Paul, Friday-Saturday, 9-10 March
While sexual violence has long been an issue, recent events have brought renewed public concern. Dozens of women have come forward in the Weinstein scandal. Millions have stood up using the #MeToo hashtag on social media. While this has broken the silence about sexual violence and reopened conversations about stigmatisation. This two-day symposium will take up the challenges of stigma and silence in church and society. The program will begin with a public lecture on Friday evening (9 March) by Professor David Tombs. This lecture, 'When did we see you Naked?,' will present his research on sexual violence, which interprets the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as an instance of state sponsored sexual abuse. By reading Jesus himself as a victim of sexual abuse, and by seeing the crucifixion as an implicit answer to his followers' question, 'When did we see you naked?', this interpretation takes sexual violence from the margins of scripture and makes it a central feature of theological concern. The program continues on Saturday (10 March) with an additional workshop and panel discussion. In the workshop, 'Stigma, Silence and Sexual Violence in Scripture', Professor West will offer a broader engagement with issues of sexual violence in scripture. In the panel, 'Breaking Silence, Stopping Violence', which will include voices from church and society, we will take up strategies of community response to sexual violence.
Friday, 9 March, Prof. David Tombs. 'When Did We See You Naked? Stigma, Silence, and Sexual Violence' Public Lecture, Cathedral Sanctuary, 6:00 Refreshments, 6:30 Lecture
Saturday, 10 March, Prof. Gerald West, 'Stigma and Silence in Scripture' Workshop
Loaves and Fishes Room, 9:15-10:30
Saturday, 10 March, Panel, 'Breaking the Silence, Ending the Violence', Loaves and Fishes Room
11:00-12:00. Panel members: Rev Dr Beverley Haddad (Associate Professor of KwaZulu-Natal University; Rt Rev Eleanor Sanderson (Assistant Bishop of Wellington); Prof. David Tombs (University of Otago).
Dr Jo Cribb has a background in research and policy development on violence against women of the Pacific. Her Master's thesis was one of the first to explore issues of family violence in Samoa and as a policy leader (most recently as the Chief Executive of the Ministry for Women, 2012-16) she has worked on family violence in the New Zealand and international context.
Prof. Beverley Haddad is Associate Professor and Senior Research Associate at the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She has worked in the field of the church and development since 1990, both as a researcher and as an ordained priest in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and has published widely in the areas of gender, HIV and the church. As a member of the Concerned African Women Theologians, she co-edited a book titled, African Women, HIV/AIDS, and Faith Communities and later edited Religion and HIV: Charting the Terrain (Pietermaritzburg: UKZN Press, 2011). This latter publication emerged out of an international research project conducted under the auspices of the Collaborative for HIV and AIDS, Religion and Theology (CHART), at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Beverley is currently visiting New Zealand as a Harold Turner Research Fellow at the University of Otago.
Rt Rev. Dr Eleanor Sanderson is Assistant Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Wellington, Fellow for Public Theology at the Centre for Anglican Communion Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary, and Research Associate at the Victoria University Wellington School of Religious Studies. Her expertise includes international community development, contextual theology, Christian spirituality, and feminist philosophy.
Prof. David Tombs is the Howard Paterson Chair of Theology and Public Issues, at the University of Otago, Aotearoa New Zealand. He has a longstanding interest in contextual and liberation theologies and is author of Latin American Liberation Theologies (Brill, 2002). His current research focusses on religion violence and peace, and especially on Christian responses to gender-based violence, sexual abuse and torture.
Prof. Gerald West is Senior Professor in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and African Biblical Hermeneutics in the School of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He is Director of the Ujamaa Centre for Community Development and Research, a project in which socially engaged biblical scholars and ordinary African readers of the Bible from poor, working-class, and marginalised communities collaborate for social transformation. Gerald is visiting New Zealand to present the De Carle Distinguished Lecture Series at the University of Otago.