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This month. Pathways

Is it possible to reform? Women theologians in comparison

29 August 2020

To reform, and not only to pay lip service. To overcome resistance and break down obstacles. To commence with the role of women in the Church, by reflecting on the reality of the Church itself, which must be rediscovered as a place of fraternal and sororal relations. To discuss the law, the codified law which is often interpreted as a cage that prevents the processes of transformation rather than an instrument of freedom.

This is the content of the webinar of the Italian Female Theologians Coordination September 5, entitled Riformare si può? [It is possible to reform?], in line with the theme of reflection launched by Coordination of Italian Theological Associations (CATI) for the two-year period 2019-2020. The anti-Covid rules do not permit us to hold a live seminar, but we wanted to deal with such a heartfelt and delicate issue by the end of the year. Hence, the idea of a web-based discussion between four women theologians with different disciplinary points of view and two observers began. The idea is to stimulate a reflection on the deep resistance that prevents a process of true reform. This commences from the valorization of women and leads to the rediscovery of the Church as a place of relations with others.

The programme includes four interventions: Where two or three. Re-shaping ecclesial relations by Simona Segoloni Ruta, professor of Ecclesiology (on p. 9 the review of her latest book).  She will speak on the function of the Church as a place. Donata Horak, professor of Canon Law, is going to speak on The Law of Freedom. For the conversion of forms and procedures. The paper by Stella Morra, professor of Fundamental Theology and director of the “Alberto Hurtado Faith and Culture Centre” of the Pontifical Gregorian University, is titled the Premises and practices: the before and after.  In her paper, titled Resistances and collective unconscious. When good will is not enough, Lucia Vantini, professor of Theological Anthropology and vice president of Italian female theologians analyzes the unconscious resistances that make renewal more difficult. In her seminar abstract, she states that “even the most revolutionary and inclusive reform processes can keep within them residues of an unconfessed androcentrism, which becomes resistance or a real obstacle to the dream of communities that are really open to differences”. The course (also live on Facebook) starts on September 5 at 9.30 am on the theologian’s website zoom platform and ends at 6 pm. After the lectures and the debate with the observers Serena Noceti and Letizia Tomassone, the course will offer guided workshops, and the possibility to ask questions and hear the responses of the speakers.

Places can be booked on the website of the Italian Female Theologians Coordination (www.teologhe.org).

by Lilli Mandara