Women, Art, and Expression: A Theological Exploration

We are a group of six women seeking to explore our own theologies through the lenses of artists and female theologians. Our readings will be composed of various articles written mainly by women of color, as well as the book Poiesis, by Stephen Levine.

Our interests as a group vary greatly, as do our reasons for studying together. Here is who we are:

Hannah: I chose this group because my interest was piqued at the thought of engaging theology (a realm unsettling and filled with resistance for me) from not only a female perspective but from a more rich, robust place where not only color, gender, culture and sexuality are incorporated but the artistic, life-giving, creative and nurturing aspects of what it means to be woman (as a reflection of who God is) can be embodied and known through artistic expression.

Lindsay: I chose this group because I felt a particular need, this term, to engage readings and discussions from a distinctly embodied perspective. Last term, reading theological texts from exclusively Europeans males, I struggled to connect because I, unlike these males voices, could not begin with embodiment as an assumption. I was drawn to womanist readings because these voices, like me, have and are struggling to be embodied, do theology embodied, and speak embodied. Because this work is an active present work for womanist scholars, I hope to be able to engage more deeply in readings this term. The opportunity to do this work of reading and discussion with other women who either have found art as an outlet for embodiment and knowing God or are curious about embodying the process of studying god through imagination and creativity is exciting for me.

Sarah: I joined this group because I want to learn more from women of color about God and how they’ve come to know and experience God. I was in the Womanist, Mujerista, and Post-Colonial group last semester and thoroughly loved the reading we did. The authors I read deepened my understanding of God and of my sisters of color. I also have a love for the expressive arts. I’ve been involved in music most of my life and I am curious as to how to use visual arts, music and dance in my future therapeutic practice. I especially wonder how the expressive arts can create a safe space and atmosphere and help bring healing and wholeness to victims of trauma. I am really looking forward to the reading we will do and to processing it with everyone in our group.

Kayla: This group intrigues me because of the topics that it brings together. I have an eclectic mix of Christian background, from Methodist to Apostolic, Presbyterian to Baptist, and wherever I’ve landed the theology has never really sat well with me. The spirituality in my life that I’ve found has most often been grounded in conversation, nature, or art. I know that my faith originates in some of these passions, and so I am looking forward to exploring theology alongside my interests, and not against them. It’s my belief that faith, women’s rights, embodiment, and art are not all that different.

Megan: I chose this group to understand more fully how being a women affects me through the different lens of women of color. I wanted to expand my understanding of womanhood I past my own whiteness. I chose art therapy with it because it has been therapeutic in my own process and I would love to learn how integrate it in working with other especially outside of my own reality.

Photo by Galeria Tuset More

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