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Symposium on women and religion in Africa, African diaspora, Feb. 22

An interdisciplinary group of scholars from universities around the United States will take part in a symposium entitled "Purity, Power, and Praise: Revisioning Women's Religious Roles in Africa and the African Diaspora" on Friday, Feb. 22. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Whig Hall Senate Chamber.

This public symposium brings together scholars of religious studies, history, anthropology, sociology, African-American studies, African studies, theology and ethics. The morning session will discuss women's ambivalent place in African-American churches and education during the early decades of the 20th century, while the afternoon session will focus on women's religious practices in contemporary Nigeria.

Featured speakers will be Anthea Butler and Deidre Crumbley, visiting research fellows at Princeton University's Center for the Study of Religion. Distinguished respondents include Laurie Maffly-Kipp, University of North Carolina; Oyeronke Oyewumi, SUNY Stony Brook; Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University; and Peter J. Paris, Princeton Theological Seminary. Isabel Mukonyora of the University of Virginia and University of Zimbabwe and Judith Weisenfeld of Vassar College will serve as moderators.

The symposium is part of a larger research project, Women and Religion in the African Diaspora, based at the Center for the Study of Religion and funded through a grant from the Ford Foundation. Over the next three years, the project will foster a multifaceted historical inquiry into women of African descent living in the United States and the Americas. The project seeks to understand the varied ways in which women of African descent have influenced and even transformed religious traditions in ways both explicit and implicit, intentional and accidental.

The symposium is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion, the Program in African-American Studies, and the Program in African Studies at Princeton.

Details about the symposium and the Women and Religion in the African Diaspora project are available at Center for the Study of Religion . For more information, contact the Center for the Study of Religion at by email or 609-258-5545, or the Program in African American Studies at or 609-258-4271.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601

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