Gender, Faith, & Culture Week / by Sarah Schwartz

Once upon a time, I was asked to co-chair a committee for the Fall 2015 Educational Programming Week at Biola University. (I know, I don't know why or how that happened, either.)

And so, the idea to hold a week dedicated to examining the psychology, theology, and sociology of gender, and how living in a gendered society impacts us individually and communally, was born.

Whaddya say we call it, "Gender, Faith, & Culture"?

Our hope was to give students the opportunity to examine their assumptions surrounding gender, as well as engage in diverse cultural and theological perspectives surrounding gender.

These conversations are usually had poorly, if at all, in evangelical contexts, and our aim was to demonstrate that we can disagree, wrestle, and engage without name calling, logical fallacies, or disrespect. We can have tough conversations, in fact we must have tough conversations, while still walking in integrity and acting with kindness.

And so, you'll find the recordings of four chapels below, addressing different aspects of living in a gendered society, and how our faith forms and informs the way we live into the fullness of our humanity. (Unfortunately, the audio from our panel discussion surrounding gender identity development and the intersex community has not yet been released.)

I'm still processing what this week meant to our community, and to me as an individual. Right now, all I can think to say is, "Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I've come."

I hope you'll take some time over the holiday to give these talks a listen.