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Who We Are

Dr John Wijngaards
Dr John Wijngaards

The Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research (WICR) is a UK-registered international educational charity founded in 1983 by theologian Dr John Wijngaards, then lecturer at the Missionary Institute London. We are one of the leading independent think tanks promoting gender equality, evidence-based sexual ethics, democratic governance and accountability in the Roman Catholic Church.

To help people overcome religion-based fundamentalism and prejudices, particularly against women, LGBT, sexual ethics, and democratic governance, WICR acts as a clearing house of theological research worldwide: we coordinate leading academics to cooperate on interdisciplinary research reports on those topics. We then make freely available online academic as well as more accessible educational resources. Our many educational websites provide free information to 800,000+ visitors a year; our social media followers are approximately 3,000.

Director of research
Dr Luca Badini Confalonieri
Dr Luca Badini Confalonieri

Dr Luca Badini Confalonieri has a long standing interest in the governance of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the author of Democracy in the Christian Church. An Historical, Theological and Political Case (T & T Clark International 2012, 304 pages).

Research Associates
  • Ally Kateusz
    Dr Ally Kateusz

    Dr. Ally Kateusz specializes in the intersection of women and religion in Early Christian art and texts, with a special focus on Mary. Her research on Mary has won the First Prize Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza New Scholar Award, the Feminae Article of the Month, and the First Place Otis Worldwide Outstanding Dissertation Award. She has published several peer reviewed articles on women and early Christian art, including in the Journal of Early Christian Studies and the Journal for Feminist Studies in Religion. She has two books forthcoming in 2019. The first, Mary and Early Christian Women: Hidden Leadership, provides new evidence of early Christian women apostles, priests, and other ministerial leaders. The second is a co-edited anthology, Rediscovering the Maries: Maria, Mariamne, Miram. Ally was interviewed in a 2018 Channel 4 documentary, Jesus’s Female Disciples: The New Evidence, about her and Luca Badini’s research with the Wijngaards Institute regarding recently restored frescos of two women bishops preserved in the San Gennaro Catacombs in Naples.

  • Dr Debra Meyers
    Dr Debra Meyers

    Dr. Debra Meyers received her PhD from the University of Rochester and has published six books as a professor of history, religion, and women’s studies at Northern Kentucky University.

    Such Order and Civility in the Colonial Chesapeake, Debra Meyers and Melanie Perrault, eds. (Lexington Books, 2015).
    Inequity in Education: Historical Perspectives on American Education, Debra Meyers and Burke Miller, eds. (Lexington Books, 2009).
    Colonial Chesapeake: New Perspectives, Debra Meyers and Melanie Perrault, eds. (Lexington Books, 2006).
    Common Whores, Vertuous Women, and Loveing Wives: Free Will Christian Women in Colonial Maryland, North American Religion Series (Indiana University Press, 2003).
    Mujeres y Religión en el Viejo y el Nuevo Mundo, en la Edad Moderna (Madrid: Narcea, S.A. de Ediciones, 2002).
    Women and Religion in Old and New Worlds, Debra Meyers and Susan Dinan eds. (NY: Routledge, 2001).

    Meyers has studied at a Roman Catholic seminary and completed a Masters of Religious Studies and a pastoral care certificate. She was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on May 25, 2013 in Cincinnati. Her ministry focuses on a growing inclusive Catholic community in Cincinnati and she serves single mothers and their children who make up the vast majority of impoverished people in our world today.

Academic Patrons

We have a distinguished selection of academic patrons from Belgium, Chile, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, UK and the USA.

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    Prof Mario Ignacio Aguilar, Chair of Religion and Politics at the School of Divinity of the University of St Andrews, Edinburgh, Scotland.
    More details here.
    Professor Mario Ignacio Aguilar holds the Chair of Religion and Politics at the School of Divinity of the University of St Andrews, Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied in Chile (BA), at the Catholic University of Louvain (STB, MA), in Maynooth, Ireland (Dipl. Comm.) and completed his PhD in Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. Since joining the University of St Andrews in 1994 he has held various positions including Dean of Divinity (2002-2005). Aguilar is also the current director and a founding member of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics (known as the CSRP) based within St Andrews.
    His main publication has been A Social History of the Catholic Church in Chile in – so far – eight volumes (Lewinston, New York, and Lampeter, Wales, 2004 – 2012). It was awarded the Adele Mellen Prize in 2004. He also published Women’s Organizing Abilities (with Laurel Birch de Aguilar; Washington 1993); Ministry to Social and Religious Outcasts in Africa (Eldoret 1995); Dios en Africa: Elementos para una Antropología de la Religión (Estella 1997); Being Oromo in Kenya (Trenton 1998); The Rwanda Genocide and the Call to Deepen Christianity in Africa (Eldoret 1998); The Politics of Age and Gerontocracy in Africa (Trenton 1998); Recent Advances and Issues in Anthropology (Westport 2000); Current Issues on Theology and Religion in Latin America and Africa (Lewiston 2002); Cardenal Raúl Silva Henríquez: presencia en la vida de Chile (Santiago 2004); Rethinking Age in Africa: Colonial, Postcolonial and Contemporary Interpretations of Cultural Representations (Trenton 2007); The History and Politics of Latin American Theology in three volumes (London 2007 & 2008); Contemplating God, Changing the World (London 2008); A las puertas de la Villa Grimaldi: Poemas (Santiago 2008); Theology, Liberation, Genocide: A Theology of the Periphery (London 2009); The Politics of God in East Africa: Oromo Ritual and Religion (Trenton 2009); Retorno a la Villa Grimaldi (Santiago 2009); Thomas Merton: Contemplation and Political Action (London 2011); A History of the Lamas in Tibet 1391-2006 (Lewinston 2012); Church, Liberation and World Religions (London 2012).
    Professor Aguilar is also Chair of Ritual Studies of the American Academy of Religion, Associate Member of the Anthropos Institut (Germany), Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and Member of the Association of Social Anthropologists of Britain and the Commonwealth (ASA), Member of the International African Institute, Member of the American Anthropological Association and elected Member of the Steering Committee for the Ritual Studies Interest Group.

  • aquino8Prof María Pilar Aquino, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at San Diego University, USA.More details here.
    Dr María Pilar Aquino is Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at San Diego University, USA. She studied at the Instituto Teológico de Estudios Superiores (ITES, Theological Institute of Superior Studies) of México City, accredited by the Pontifical Catholic University do Río Grande do Sul, Brazil (TheolBA and TheolLic). She obstained the doctorate in theology at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain. She joined the University of San Diego in 1993. Her primary areas of teaching and research are liberation theologies, social ethics, and feminist theologies, with special interests in intercultural approaches, conflict transformation, and religious peacebuilding studies. Aquino’s research and scholarly works are infused by concerns about the function of religions and theologies in societal systems and human relationships, and about their implications for social justice and constructive change.
    In addition to her more than fifty major book and journal articles, she has authored Our Cry for Life. Feminist Theology from Latin America (1993); La Teología, La Iglesia y La Mujer en América Latina (1994); Teología Feminista Latinoamericana (1998); has edited Aportes para una Teología desde la Mujer (1988); and co-edited Theology: Expanding the Borders, with Roberto S. Goizueta (1998); Entre la Indignación y la Esperanza. Teología Feminista Latinoamericana, with Ana María Tepedino (1998); In the Power of Wisdom. Feminist Spiritualities of Struggle, with Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (2000); The Return of the Just War, with Dietmar Mieth (2001); The Rights of Women, with Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (2002); A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology. Religion and Justice, with Daisy Machado and Jeanette Rodríguez (2002); Reconciliation in a World of Conflicts, with Luis Carlos Susin (2003); and Feminist Intercultural Theology: Latina Explorations for a Just World, with Maria José Rosado-Nunes (2007). She has received various awards from prominent theological societies for her sustained commitment to women’s theological education, and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate in theology from the University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Currently, Professor Pilar Aquino serves both on national and international editorial boards of prominent theological journals. Aquino has served as the first woman president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States, of which she is also a co-founder. She is internationally renowned for her pioneering work in Latin American and U.S. Latina feminist theologies of liberation.

  • bongsDr Sharon A. Bong, Associate Professor in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Monash University, Selangor, Malaysia.More details here
    Dr Sharon A. Bong is Associate Professor in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Monash University, Selangor, Malaysia. Her qualifications are: PhD in Religious Studies and MA in Women in Religion (with distinction) from Lancaster University in the UK, and MA in English Literature from the University of Malaya, Malaysia. Her on-going research interests include epistemologies from a feminist point of view; women’s human rights and approaches to sexuality in religions.
    Dr Bong wrote The Tension Between Women’s Rights and Religions: The Case of Malaysia (Edwin Mellen Press, New York 2006). With Pushpa Joseph she edited Re-imagining Marriage and Family in Asia: Asian Christian Women’s Perspectives (Strategic information and Research Development Centre, Petaling Jaya 2008). Examples of chapters in books are: ‘The Narratives of GLBTQ Persons: Towards an Epistemology of the Body’ in Feminist Theology of Liberation. Asian perspectives: Practicing Peace (eds. Judette Gallares and Astrid Lobo, Quezon City 2011, pp. 81-100); ‘The Suffering Christ and the Asian Body’ in Hope Abundant: Third World and Indigenous Women’s Theology (ed. Kwok Pui-Lan, New York 2010, pp. 186-193); ‘Sexualising Faith and Spiritualising Sexuality in Postcolonial Narratives of Same-Sex Intimacy’ in Persons and Sexuality (ed. Allison Moore and Carlo Zuccarini, Oxford 2009, pp. 33-44); ‘The Sexuality-Spirituality Project’ in Handling Qualitative Data (ed. Lyn Richards, online 2009); ‘Going Beyond the Universal-versus-Relativist Rights Discourse and Practice: The Case of Malaysia’ in Violence and Gender in the Globalised World: The Intimate and the Extimate (ed. Sanja Bahun-Radunović and V. G. Julie Rajan, Aldershot 2008, pp. 25-40); and ‘Queer Revisions of Christianity’ in Body and Sexuality: Theological-Pastoral Perspectives of Women in Asia (eds. Agnes Brazal and Andrea Lizares , Manila 2007, pp. 234-249).
    Dr Bong received the Monash Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Community Service Award 2007 in recognition of her long-standing participation in the women’s movement globally, regionally and nationally through involvement with, among others, the 7th Women’s Global Leadership Institute (Rutgers University), Amnesty-International Malaysia, All Women’s Action Society, Young Women’s Christian Association of Malaysia, National Council of Women’s Organisations and presently, the Ecclesia of Women in Asia, an academic forum of Catholic Asian women theologising in Asia.

  • Prof René van Eyden, Dogmatic Theology (Emeritus), University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
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    Dr René van Eyden is Professor of Dogmatic Theology (Emeritus), University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Author of numerous articles including the classic ‘Women Ministers in the Catholic Church?’ (1968) and ‘The Creation of Womanhood: a Hierarchical Construction’ (2001).
    On 2 November 1996 René van Eyden gave the keynote address to the 1500 participants of the Acht Mei Beweging in the Netherlands during which he called on Catholics to raise their voices: ‘Keeping Mum or Speaking Out?’ (1996).
    Van Eyden trained generations of theologians in the Netherlands, leading to relevant doctoral theses. One remarkable project studied in detail how the reports by the Pontifical Commission On Women in Society and in the Church were derailed and suppressed by Vatican interference (1974-1976). Read a summary of the research here.
    Interviews with Professor van Eyden have been recorded in the Henry Nouwen Oral History Project, University of Toronto Libraries 2005.

  • Professor Mary Grey, professorial research fellow at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, London, UK.
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    Professor Mary Grey is an ecofeminist liberation theologian, until recently D.J.James Professor of Pastoral Theology at the University of Wales, Lampeter and formerly Professor of Contemporary Theology at the University of Southampton, based at La Sainte Union (1993-7). Before that she was Professor of Feminism and Christianity at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She is now professorial research fellow at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, London, UK.
    Her recent writing includes: Introducing Feminist Images of God (London: Continuum 2001), Sacred Longings: Ecofeminist Theology and Globalisation (London: SCM 2003, Fortress 2004), The Unheard Scream – the Struggles of Dalit Women in India (New Delhi 2004), Pursuing the Dream – a Jewish-Christian Conversation, with Rabbi Dan Cohn Sherbok (Darton, Longman and Todd 2005). For 10 years she was editor of the journal Ecotheology.

  • Prof. Hille Haker, PhD, Richard McCormick, S. J., Chair of Moral Theology at Loyola University Chicago; President of Societas Ethica.more details here
    She has been a member of the European Group on Ethics in Sciences and New Technologies (EGE) of the European Commission since 2005. She is a member of several U.S. associations, including the AAR, SCE, CTSA, and ASBH; she is also a member of the German Academy of Ethics in Medicine (AEM) and an associated member of the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities, University of Tübingen, and a member of AGENDA, Forum of Catholic Women Theologians in Germany.

  • Françoise Holvoet Bourguignon, BA Law & MA Philology; previously lecturer in Zaire, Tunisia, Paris & Toronto.
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    Author of Les femmes dans l’oeuvre romanesque de Simone de Beauvoir.
    Francoise has helped us with many translations from English into French.

  • hornsbyProf Michael P. Hornsby-Smith, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Surrey, UK.
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    Dr Michael P. Hornsby-Smith is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Surrey. For over thirty years he researched social changes in post-war English Catholicism in a series of studies including the first national survey of English Catholics in 1978, a survey of delegates to the National Pastoral Congress in 1980, studies of four inner-city and suburban parishes in London and Preston in the 1970s, and a study of the RENEW programme in an English Diocese in the 1980s. He held all three offices in the British Sociological Association’s Sociology of Religion Study Group (at various times between 1979 and 1993) and was a Council Member of the Société Internationale De Sociologie Des Religions (1987-97). He was at various times a member of the Catholic Education Council for England and Wales (1970-80), the Executive Committee of the Catholic Institute for International Relations (now Progressio, 1981-87), the Arundel and Britain Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission (1979-89), and a member of the Council and Issues Committee of the Catholic Union for Great Britain (1979-85). At the same time he was heavily involved in the promotion of justice and peace at the parish, national and international development levels. In 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity at Heythrop College, University of London. He is the author of Catholic Education (1978), Roman Catholic Opinion (co-author, 1979), Roman Catholics in England (1987), The Changing Parish (1989), Roman Catholic Beliefs in England (1991), The Politics of Spirituality (co-author, 1995), Catholics in England: 1950-2000 (editor and co-author, 1999), An Introduction to Catholic Social Thought (2006), Parish Still Alive? (2009) and Reflections on a Catholic Life (2009) together with over twenty chapters in edited volumes and over 100 articles mainly in the Sociology of Religion.

  • Lord HyltonRaymond Hervey Jolliffe Lord Hylton, House of Lords, London, England.
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    Raymond Hervey Jolliffe, 5th Baron Hylton, was educated at Eton College in Berkshire and Trinity College, Oxford, where he graduated with a Master of Arts in History in 1955. He served as Assistant Private Secretary to the Governor-General of Canada between 1960 and 1962. He entered the British House of Lords in 1971 as an independent peer. In 1991 he was elected a hereditary Lord. His interests have always focused on affordable housing, human rights, prisons, penal affairs and policy, conflict resolution, peace building, inter-faith relations, foreign affairs and policy. In 1994, he received an honorary doctorate of the University of Southampton, UK.
    Since 1962, Lord Hylton has been a member of the Abbeyfield Society, the Catholic Housing Aid Society, the London Housing Aid Centre, the National Federation of Housing Associations, Mencap, the Foundation for Alternatives, the Hugh of Witham Foundation, and the Action around Bethlehem Children with Disability (ABCD). He has worked for Age Concern, L’Arche Ltd as well as the Mendip Wansdyke Local Enterprise Group. Since 1988, he is further president of the Northern Ireland Association for Care and Resettlement of Offenders. He is a member of the Housing Associations Charitable Trust and of Forward Thinking.
    Lord Hylton is a trustee of the Acorn Christian Healing Trust and vice-chairman of Partners in Hope. From 1993-2001, he was chairman of the St Francis and St Sergius Trust Fund. For the Ammerdown Study Centre at Ammerdown House, Kilmersdon, near Bath, he is trustee and governor. In 1960 he was appointed an Associate of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

  • Prof Jan Jans, associate Professor of Ethics at Tilburg School of Humanitiesmore details here
    Dr Jan Jans (b. 1954) studied theology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) where from 1985 until 1990 he was assistant of medical ethics at the Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Law. After obtaining the degree of Doctor in Sacred Theology (STD/PhD) in 1990, he was from 1991 until 2005 assistant professor of moral theology at Tilburg Faculty of Theology (the Netherlands) and since 2006 associate professor of ethics at Tilburg School of Humanities. From 1993 until 2007, he lectured at ‘Bovendonk’ (Dutch seminary for late vocations) and from 1994 until 2003 he was professor at the ‘Theology for Ministry Summer Institute’ of the American College at Louvain. Since 2001/2002 he is visiting professor at St Augustine College of South Africa (Johannesburg) and lectured at other South African universities as well.
    His main areas of interest within fundamental moral theology are images of God, personalism and ethical methodology, including feminism and intercultural ethics. A focus of ongoing research aims at exploring the concept of ‘neighbour’ as an hermeneutical key with regard to a characteristic Christian moral identity.
    Professor Jan Jans’ recent publications include: “What’s the fuss? The difficulties of religion(s) with sexuality”, in: Trefoil (The Southern African Catholic Quartely), N° 271 (2007/1) 33-34; 57-58; “Just a Piece of Cloth? The European debate on ‘the Islamic headscarf’ as a case study and paradigm for an emergent intercultural ethics”, in: The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, 28.1 (2008) 25-43; “Until the end willed by God? Moral theology and the debate on ‘euthanasia’,” in: Studies in Christian Ethics, 24 (2011) 477-486; “Typisch und Eigenartig. Krankenhäuser auf der Suche nach ihrer christlich-katholische Identität”, in: Konrad Hilpert (Hrsg.), Theologische Ethik im Pluralismus, Fribourg i. Ue.: Academic Press Fribourg / Freiburg I. Br.: Herder, 2012, 285-290.
    Jan Jans is an active member of the European Association for Catholic Theology (2005-2007: editor-in-chief of the journal Bulletin ET), the Internationale Vereinigung für Moraltheologie und Sozialethik, the Societas Ethica (board member since 2011), the Association of Teachers of Moral Theology [UK] and the Society of Christian Ethics [USA] (board member 2007-2011), the Catholic Theological Association of America, and vice-president of INSeCT (2008-2011).

  • jurgenssProf Erik Jurgens, Emeritus Professor of Government Law at the Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; formerly Assistant Speaker of the Dutch Upper House of Parliament
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    Professor Erik Jurgens is Emeritus Professor of Government Law at the Free University of Amsterdam (1987 – 1999) and the National University of Limburg (1991-2000). Member and Assistant President of the Senate (Eerste Kamer) of the Parliament of the Netherlands (1995 – 2007); member of the Dutch House of Commons (Tweede Kamer; 1972-1975; 1990-1994); Chairmain of NOS (Dutch Radio & TV Umbrella; 1975 – 1985.
    Professor Jurgens has been a member and chairman of numerous national and international institutions. At present he is chairman of Union of National Libraries in the Netherlands (2004 – now).
    Among his publications we find: P.P.R. op aarde (1968); Omroep als publieke dienst (1985); Omroeprecht en auteursrecht (with N. van Lingen 1986); De stenen tafelen: een nieuwe moraal voor burgers en overheid? (editor, 1992); Tweede Kamer op orde (with J. A. van Schagen, 1993); De heren van Den Haag zijn onderweg (anthology of 100 poems, with F. Niessen, 1993); Een onparlementair stelsel (with W. Vermeend, 1993). He writes and has written many articles. In 1985 he was decorated as Officer of the Order of the Dutch Lion.

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    Prof Manuela Kalsky, Professor at VU University in Amsterdam (Edward Schillebeeckx Chair for Theology and Society) and director of the Dominican Study Centre for Theology and Society (DSTS).
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    Dr Manuela Kalsky is Professor at VU University in Amsterdam (Edward Schillebeeckx Chair for Theology and Society) and director of the Dominican Study Centre for Theology and Society (DSTS). She was a guest lecturer at the universities of Hannover, Hamburg , Fribourg and Vienna. She studied theology in Marburg (G) and Amsterdam. After graduating at the University of Amsterdam she took her PhD degree there on a research into Christology from the perspective of women in different cultures.
    Her research in recent years has focused primarily on religion in a pluralist society. In this field, the DSTS initiated the multimedia project Nieuwwij.nl (project WE), with the aim of strengthening social cohesion by the innate capacity in society to live together with people from different cultures and religions.
    Manuela Kalsky has published numerous articles on religion and society and is regularly involved in the public debate in the Netherlands on the role of religion in a multicultural society. She is also a board member of the European Project for Interreligious Learning.
    Her recent publications include: ‘Religious Diversity as a Challenge to Theology. The research projects of the Dutch Dominican Study Centre for Theology and Society’, in: M. Kalsky, P. Nissen (eds.), A glance in the mirror. Dutch and Polish religious cultures (forthcoming by LIT Verlag); ‘Heil im alltäglichen Leben. Weiterdenken mit Edward Schillebeeckx in einer multireligiösen und multikulturellen Gesellschaft’, in: T. Eggensperger, U. Engel, e.a. (eds.), Edward Schillebeeckx: Impulse für Theologien – Impetus Towards Theologies, Ostfildern 2012, p. 211-229; ‘Alles vloeit. De spiritualiteit in de Lage Landen’, in: Tijdschrift voor Geestelijk Leven 68, 2012, p. 5-14; ‘Interreligious Dialogue and the Development of a Transreligious Identity. A Correspondence’, in: Journal of the European Society of Women in Theological Research 17, 2009, p. 41-58; ‘Religiöse Flexibilität. Eine Antwort auf kulturelle und religiöse Vielfalt’, in: R. Bernhardt, P. Schmidt-Leukel, Multiple religiöse Identität. Aus verschiedenen religiösen Traditionen schöpfen, Zürich 2008, p. 219-242; ‘Embracing diversity: Reflections on the transformation of Christian identity’, in: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue 17, 2007, p. 221-231.

  • kennedyBaroness Helena Kennedy, House of Lords, London, Englandmore details here
    Baroness Helena Kennedy QC of the Shaws is a barrister, broadcaster, and Labour member of the House of Lords in the UK. She is the elected principal of Mansfield College, Oxford University, UK. She fully qualified in law at the London’s Council of Legal Education. She holds twenty-six honorary doctorates in law: University of Strathclyde 1992, University of Teeside 1993, Keele University 1994, Lancaster University 1994, Leeds Metropolitan University 1995, University of Bristol 1997, University of Wolverhampton 1997, The Open University 1997, University of Abertay Dundee 1997, Tavistock Centre under the auspices of the University of East London 1997, University of Derby 1998, University of Leicester 1998, University of York 1999, National University of Ireland 2000, University of Aberdeen 2000, Oxford Brookes University 2001, Caledonian University 2001, Robert Gordon University 2002, Judicial Academy of Russia 2002, Polytechnic University of Tomsk 2002, Middlesex University 2003, De Montfort University 2004, University of Sheffield 2005, University of Staffordshire 2005, University of Paisley 2005, University of Edinburgh 2005.Baroness Kennedy is the author of Eve was Framed (1992), Just Law: The changing face of justice (2004). She contributed to The Bar on Trial (1978), Child Sexual Abuse within the Family (1984), Balancing Acts: On being a mother (1989). She was the creator of BBC television series Blind Justice (1987).Baroness Kennedy was a former chair of the Human Genetics Commission, which advises the on ethical, social, and legal issues arising from developments in genetic science. She was Chair of the London International Festival of Theatre (1994-2002); Chair of the British Counsel Board; Vice-President of the Haldane Society; Hon Fellow of the institute for Advanced Legal Studies; Board member of the Independent newspaper. Moderator of the BBC’s Hypotheticals. She received the UK ‘Woman of Europe’ award, 1995, ‘Campaigning and Influencing’ award (National Federation of Women’s Institutes 1996) and The Times ‘Lifetime Achievement in the Law’ award, 1996. She was created a Life Peer, as “The Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, of Cathcart in the City of Glasgow” (1997). She received the Grand Cross, Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (2004) and was made Commandeur, Ordre des Palmes Académiques (2006).

  • Prof Ursula King, Professor Emerita of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Bristol, UK.
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    Dr Ursula King, MA (Delhi), PhD (London), DD h.c. (Oslo, Edinburgh, Dayton), is Professor Emerita of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Bristol; Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bristol; Professorial Research Associate, Centre for Gender and Religions Research, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
    Ursula King is a world expert in feminism and gender studies. Her research and professorial positions in universities of Asia, Europe and North America have given her a truly international access to the field. Many of her books are classics and she is a frequent speaker at top academic conventions.
    Among her numerous publications we find: The Search for Spirituality: Our Global Quest for a Spiritual Life, Women and Spirituality: Voices of Protest and Promise, Spirit of Fire: The Life and Vision of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Christ in All Things: Exploring Spirituality with Teilhard de Chardin, Turning Points in Religious Studies (ed.), Feminist Theology from the Third World: A Reader (ed.) and Religion and Gender (ed.). Her latest book is: Teilhard de Chardin and Eastern Religions. Spirituality and Mysticism in an Evolutionary World (Paulist Press 2011).
    Ursula King is a member of British Association for the Study of Religions (BASR), Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain, European Society of Women in Theological Research, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and Society for the Study of Theology.

  • Prof Leo Laeyendecker, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the universities of Leiden and Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
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    Dr. L. Laeyendecker studied philosophy, theology and sociology. His doctoral dissertation concerned religion and conflict. He taught as professor of sociology at the universities of Leiden (1973 – 1989) and Amsterdam.
    At various times he was board member and/or president of large organizations, such as the Dutch Anthropological and Sociological Association (NSAV), the Foundation for Pure Scientific Research (ZWO), the Foundation for Research in Theology and Religion (STEGON), the Commission on Spirit, Order and Organisation of The World Council of Churches, the well-known Catholic Social Ecclesiastical Institute in the Netherlands (KASKI), and others. From 1989 to 1992 he was director of the Multidisciplinary Center for Church and Society at Driebergen which focuses especially on problems of the sciences and ethics. He was involved with the Pastoral Council for the Netherlands and sat on the Board of the Acht Mei Beweging.
    He wrote classic works on church governance: The Struggle to control charism. Salvation and Power in the Roman Catholic Church (1993) [Dutch: “Om de beheersing van het charisma: Heil en macht in de R.K. Kerk”], Culture at Risk. About modernity, science and religion (1994) [Dutch: “Bedreigde cultuur: Over moderniteit, wetenschap en religie“] and The Last Monopoly of the Roman Catholic Church. Changing Relationships between Clergy and Laity (1999) [Dutch: “Het Laatste Monopolie van de R.K. Kerk. Veranderende Verhoudingen tussen Priesters and Leken“]. Among his other books are: Strategieën van sociale verandering (1978), Orde, verandering, ongelijkheid: Een inleiding tot de geschiedenis van de sociologie (1981), Sociale verandering: Problemen en theorieën (1984) and Experiences and Explanations (1990).

  • Dr Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, Head of the Tissue Bank at the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India
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    Dr Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, scientist, theologian and writer, is Head of the Tissue Bank at the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India. She obtained her professional degrees at the National University of Singapore and at the University of Mumbai (PhD Medicine). She studied theology at St. Pius X College, Mumbai (10 courses of in total 212 lectures, 1985-1989) and at the Catherine of Siena Virtual College, Cincinnati, USA (2 courses, 2011).
    Dr Lobo Gajwala published numerous articles in over 30 weeklies, periodicals and theological journals. She edited: Practicing Peace: Feminist Theology of Liberation, Asian Perspectives (ed. with Judette Gallares, Claretian Publications 2011); Gender Relations in the Church: A Call to Wholeness & Equal Discipleship (ed. with Varghese Theckanath & Raynah Braganza Passanha, Streevani, Pune 2012). She wrote the following chapters in books: “Making Space for the Other” in Creating a Balance: Developing New relationships Between Women and Men (Coady International Institute 2013); “Making a Path to the Womb: Eco-feminism and Its Implications” in Ecological Concerns: An Indian Christian Response (eds. Joseph Mattam & Jacob Vavunkal, Bangalore 1998); “The Passion of the Womb: Women Re-living the Eucharist” in Body Bread, Blood: Eucharistic Perspectives From the Indian Church (ed. Francis Gonsalves, Vidyajyoti 2000); “Struggling for the Soul: Women in Base Communities” in Seeking New Horizons (ed. Leonard Fernando, ISPCK 2002); “Mothering God” in Concerns of Women: An Indian Theological Response (eds. Evelyn Monteiro & Kochurani Abraham, Bangalore 2005); “The Wake-up Call for the Church” in Shaping Tomorrow’s Church: Formation of Priests & Religious for India (ed. Kurien Kunnumpuram, St. Paul’s 2006); “The Passion of the Womb: Women Re-living the Eucharist” in Body and Sexuality: Theological-Pastoral Perspectives of Women in Asia (eds. Agnes M. Brazal & Andrea Lizares, Ateneo de Manila university Press 2007); “Living the Tension: The Inter-faith Family in Dialogue” in Re-imagining Marriage and Family in Asia: Asian Christian Women’s Perspectives (eds. Sharon A. Bong & Pushpa Joseph, Malaysia 2008); “Women and Power” in Towards the Full Flowering of the Human: Interdisciplinary Studies on the Empowerment of Women (eds. Kurien Kunnumpuram & Evelyn Monteiro, Saint Paul 2011); “Negotiating Partnership in the Church” in Gender Relations in the Church: A Call to Wholeness & Equal Discipleship (Mumbai 2012).
    Dr Lobo Gajwala has been on the Editorial Boards of Word and Worship, journal of the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre, and The Examiner, a newsweekly of the Bombay Archdiocese. She has worked on the Executive Team and served as a Resource Person for the Ecclesia of Women in Asia, Indian Theological Association, Indian Women’s Theological Forum, Commission for Women, Archdiocese of Bombay and Satyashodhak, a feminist collective. She has been a Consultor for the Indian bishops’ CBCI Commission for Women since 1992, helping draft the Gender Policy of the Catholic Church of India, and has been a resource person for the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC). She has served as Secretary of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, Mumbai, and Vice President of its parish councils, member of parish liturgical teams and core teams of the Zonal Basic Christian Communities.

  • Prof Kathleen Maas Weigert, Professor of Women and Leadership at Loyola University, Chicago, USA
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    Dr Kathleen Maas Weigert is the Carolyn Farrell BVM Professor of Women and Leadership at Loyola University, Chicago. She received the BA and MA in International Relations from the University of Minnesota and the PhD in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame. She has served as research professor of social justice at Loyola since July of 2010. Immediately prior to that she was the executive director of the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service at Georgetown University, and served as a research professor in sociology and the program on justice & peace. She also held appointments at the University of Notre Dame, where she served as a member of the faculty and associate director for the Center for Social Concerns and was a fellow at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
    Professor Maas Weigert is the author or editor of several books, including Living the Catholic Social Tradition: Cases and Commentary (2005), America’s Working Poor (1995), and The Search for Common Ground: What Unites and Divides Catholic Americans, which received the 1998 “Award for Excellence in Research” from the National Conference of Catechetical Leaders.
    She is a co-recipient of the University of Notre Dame’s 1991 Grenville Clark Award, which is given for “voluntary activities advancing the cause of peace and human rights.” In 2000, she received the University of Notre Dame’s Reinhold Niebuhr Award, which is given to one “whose life and writings promote or exemplify the area of social justice in modern life.”

  • Siobhain McDonagh MP, British Parliament, London, UK
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    Siobhain McDonagh MP represents the constituency of Mitcham and Morden in the British Parliament, London, UK. She studied Politics at the University of Essex before becoming a clerical officer for the DHSS between 1981–83, moving on to Housing benefit from 1983–84, then a receptionist at the Wandsworth Homeless Persons Unit from 1984–86, and a housing adviser from 1986–88. Prior to being elected to Parliament she worked as a Development Manager for Battersea Churches Housing Trust from 1988-97. She also served as a councillor on London Borough of Merton for Colliers Wood ward between 1982 and 1998, chairing the Housing Committee between 1990 and 1995.
    Siobhain McDonagh was first elected to parliament in 1997 where her particular interests are in health, housing, quality of life, welfare reform. After the May 2005 General Election she served as PPS to Dr. John Reid in his position as Secretary of State for Defence and from May 2006 to June 2007 Secretary of State for the Home Department. She was appointed to the position of Assistant Whip on 28 June 2007 in the re-shuffle brought about by Gordon Brown becoming Prime Minister (till 2010).
    Siobhain McDonagh is a committed Catholic who has criticised the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church on a number of occasions. “Priority should be given to the kindness and the pastoral nature of the Church in dealing with people in difficulties rather than always sending down impossible standards of behaviour that we all, whoever we are, sometimes fall short of.”

  • Prof Dietmar Mieth, Emeritus professor of Theological Ethics and Social Ethics at the University of Tübingen, Germany.

  • Professor Thomas O’Loughlin, Professor of Historical Theology in the University of Nottingham, UK
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    Professor Dr Thomas O’Loughlin is Professor of Historical Theology in the University of Nottingham, UK. He studied at University College Dublin (BA Phil), then at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth (BD Theol; MA Phil). He became Research Fellow in Dublin (Late Latin and Palaeography) and a Scholar in the School of Celtic Studies of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies which led to his PhD. In 1997 he entered the Department of Theology and Religious Studies in the University of Wales, Lampeter. His distinctive style of conducting historical theology that focuses on the dynamics of tradition within theology led to him being made the first Professor of Historical Theology in the University of Wales in February 2006; and to the award of a DD by Bangor University in 2010.
    Professor O’Loughlin specializes in producing accurate historico-theological analyses, of which he has written hundreds over the past years. By way of example we note just for the one year 2012: Making the Most of the Lectionary: A User’s Guide, SPCK London; ‘Adomnán’s Plans in the Context of his Imagining ‘the Most Famous City’, Proceedings of the British Academy 175, 15-40; ‘The library of Iona at the time of Adomnán’. In: R.G. Gameson, ed., The Cambridge history of the Book in Britain (Volume I; c.400-1100), Cambridge University Press. 570-579; ‘Divisions in Christianity: The Contribution of “Appeals to Antiquity”’. In: S. Oliver, K.Kilby and T. O’Loughlin, eds., Faithful Reading: New Essays in Theology and Philosophy, T. and T. Clark. 221-241; ‘A Vernacular Liturgy versus a Liturgy in the “Vernacular”?’, Worship 86(3), 244-255; ‘The Biblical Dimension of Early Medieval Latin Texts’. In: K. Ritari, ed., Method and Genre in the Study of Medieval Texts (in press); ‘The ecclesial value of deacons within the Eucharistic Assembly’, New Diaconal Review (in press); ‘The Prayers of the Liturgy’. In: V. Boland and T. McCarthy, eds., The Word is Flesh and Blood: The Eucharist and Sacred Scripture, Dominican Publications, Dublin. 113-122; ‘Is every translation a vernacular translation?’, New Blackfriars (in press); ‘Jerome’s De uiris illustribus and Latin Perceptions of the New Testament’s Canon’. In: J.E. Rutherford and D. Woods, eds., The Mystery of Christ in the Fathers of the Church, Four Courts Press, Dublin. 55-65; ‘Christian Spirituality in Europe: The Celtic Tradition’. In: Richard Woods and Peter Tyler, eds., The Bloomsbury Guide to Christian Spirituality, Bloomsbury, London. 304-314; ‘The Derrynaflan Paten: Discovering an Ancient Theology’. In: S. Ryan and B. Leahy, eds., Treasures of Irish Christianity: People and Places, Images and Texts, Veritas, Dublin. 63-66; ‘Latina veritas: language a guarantor of truth?’, The Furrow 63 (7/8), 343-347.
    Professor O’Loughlin is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; and of the Royal Historical Society.

  • Very Rev Prof Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, one of University of Oxford’s largest colleges, and of the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Oxford. He was Principal of Ripon College, Cuddesdon from 2004-14. Before that he was Director of the Lincoln Theological Institute and has also been Chaplain and Director of Studies at Christ’s College, Cambridge.
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    The Very Revd. Professor Martyn Percy (BA, MA, M.Ed, PhD) is the 45th Dean of Christ Church, Oxford. Founded in 1525 and re-founded in 1546, Christ Church is one of Oxford’s largest colleges. Christ Church is also the cathedral church of the diocese of Oxford. The Dean presides over the both College and Cathedral, as well as the Choir School, with its world-class cathedral choir.Martyn was educated at the Universities of Bristol, Durham, London (King’s) and Sheffield. He trained for ordination after a career in publishing, serving as curate of St. Andrew’s Bedford (1990-94). He was Chaplain and Director of Studies at Christ’s College, Cambridge (1994-97), and from 1997-2004, Director of the Lincoln Theological Institute. He served as Canon Theologian of Sheffield Cathedral, and is a Canon Emeritus of Salisbury Cathedral.In 2004 he was appointed as Principal of Ripon College, Cuddesdon. The College developed to become one of the largest Anglican ordination training centres in the world, blending part-time and full training. It now incorporates an Order of Sisters, an award-winning new chapel and education centre, and a research and consultancy centre. Martyn is a member of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford, and also tutors in the Social Sciences Division and the Said Business School of the University of Oxford. He is also Professor of Theological Education at King’s College London and Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College, University of London.Martyn has undertaken a number of roles in public life, serving as a Director of the Advertising Standards Authority, and as an Adjudicator for the Portman Group (the self-regulating body for the alcoholic drinks industry). He has served as a Commissioner of the Direct Marketing Authority, as well as an Advisor to the British Board of Film Classification. He is currently Patron of St. Francis’ Children’s Society (an Adoption and Fostering Agency), a Trustee of the Grubb Institute and the Li Tim-Oi Foundation, and a Vice-President of Modern Church.Martyn writes and teaches on Christianity and contemporary culture, modern ecclesiology and pastoral theology. His recent books include Anglicanism: Confidence, Commitment and Communion (Ashgate) and Thirty-Nine New Articles: An Anglican Landscape of Faith (Canterbury Press). Martyn is married to the theologian the Revd. Dr. Emma Percy, Chaplain and Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. They have two sons, Benjamin and Joseph; and an over-friendly bearded collie, Pippa. Martyn was described in the journal Theology as the British Theologian closest to being a ‘missionary anthropologist’.

  • Prof Peter C. Phan, Professor of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University, USA
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    Dr Peter C. Phan is the inaugural holder of the Ignacio Ellacuría Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University, USA, and is the founding Director of the Graduate Studies Program in Theology and Religious Studies. He has earned three doctorates: Doctor of Sacred Theology from the Universitas Pontificia Salesiana, Rome, and Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Divinity from the University of London. He has also received two honorary degrees: Doctor of Theology from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Elms College, Chicopee MA, USA.Professor Phan began his teaching career in philosophy at Don Bosco College, Hong Kong. In the United States, he has taught at the University of Dallas, TX; the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, where he held the Warren-Blanding Chair of Religion and Culture; Union Theological Seminary, NY; Elms College, Chicopee, MA; and St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI. He is the first non-white to be elected President of the Catholic Theological Society of America. In 2010 he was awarded the John Courtney Murray Award, the highest honor given by the Catholic Theological Society of America for outstanding achievements in theology.His publications in theology are wide-ranging. They deal with the theology of icon in Orthodox theology (Culture and Eschatology: The Iconographical Vision of Paul Evdokimov); patristic theology (Social Thought; Grace and the Human Condition); eschatology (Eternity in Time: A Study of Rahner’s Eschatology; Death and Eternal Life); the history of mission in Asia (Mission and Catechesis: Alexandre de Rhodes and Inculturation in Seventeenth-Century Vietnam) and liberation, inculturation, and interreligious dialogue (Christianity with an Asian Face; In Our Own Tongues; Being Religious Interreligiously). In addition, he has edited some 20 volumes (e.g., Christianity and the Wider Ecumenism; Church and Theology; Journeys at the Margins; The Asian Synod; The Gift of the Church; Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy; Christianities in Asia, and The Cambridge Companion to the Trinity). His many writings have been translated into Italian, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, Arabic, Croatian, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, and Vietnamese. He is the general editor of a multi-volume series entitled Theology in Global Perspective for Orbis Books and a multi-volume series entitled Ethnic American Pastoral Spirituality for Paulist Press. His writings have received many awards from learned societies.

  • Prof Irina Pollard, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science & Engineering, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia; Head of the Australian Unit of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics; and Vice-President for the Pacific, Asian Bioethics Association (ABA).

  • Christina Rees, Writer, broadcaster and public speaker.
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    Christina Rees was Chair of the influential Anglican organization WATCH: Women and the Church. Writes regularly for BRF’s Day by Day with God. Contributes to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. Author of Sea Urchin: A Childhood at Sea (1989), Divine Embrace (2001) and Voices of this Calling (editor, 2002). She was Director General of The Churchfield Trust (2000 – 2011) in the United Kingdom during which time she especially advocated and campaigned for the ordination of women as bishops in the Church of England.

  • Rev Baroness Kathleen Richardson of Calow.more details here
    Baroness Kathleen Richardson was the First Woman President of the Methodist Conference (1992-1993); Moderator, Free Churches Council (1995-1999); President of Churches Together in England (1995-1999). Richardson was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1996 UK New Year Honours. She was created a Life Peer in the House of Lords in 1998.

  • Prof Teresa Toldy, Professor of Feminist Theology at Fernando Pessoa University.
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    Professor Teresa Toldy is married and mother of an 11 year old son. She has a PhD in Theology from the Philosophisch-theologische Hochschule Sankt-Georgen (Frankfurt/Germany) on “God and Word of God in the Feminist Theology”. She is Professor at Fernando Pessoa University, and researcher at the Center of Social Research (Coimbra University), where she coordinates POLICREDOS (The Observatory on Politics of Cultural and Religious Differences in Southern Europe). Teresa Toldy is also Vice-President of the Ethics Commission of the same University.Professor Toldy publishes in Portuguese and other languages. A classic book is her Deus e a Palavra de Deus na Teologia Feminista (Lisboa: Edições Paulinas 1998). To highlight just a selection of her academic articles: ‘Teologia e Ética’, in Anselmo Borges (ed.), E Deus criou a Mulher. Mulheres e Teologia. (Funchal: Nova Delphi 2011, 71-89); ‘Um olhar sobre os Estudos de Género em Universidades Privadas’, in Pinto, Teresa; Alvarez, Teresa & Cruz, Isabel (ed.), Mulheres e Conhecimento / Women and Knowledge (Vila Franca de Xira 2011, 97-111); with Cláudia Ramos, ‘As mulheres em Agustina: uma incursão no imaginário subjacente de A Jóia de Família’, in Isabel Ponce de Leão (ed.), Estudos Agustinianos (Porto 2009, 339-346); ‘Pós-secularismo’, in Observatório de Relações Exteriores da Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa (ed.), JANUS – Anuário de relações exteriores, JANUS – Foreign Relations Yearbook (Lisboa 2009, 172-173); ‘A Democracia e o Feminino na Igreja’, in Anselmo Borges (ed.), Deus no século XXI e o futuro do cristianismo (Porto 2007, 107-123); ‘Citizenship and the Bologna Process’, in eresa Toldy, Cláudia Ramos, Paulo Vila Maior, Sérgio Lira (ed.), Cidadania(s): Discursos e Práticas / Citizenship(s): Discourses and Practices (Porto 2007, 487-504); ‘Elie Wiesel e o silêncio de Deus em Auschwitz’, in Patim, Isabel; Toldy, Teresa; Fernandes, Joaquim; Hilário, Fernand (ed.), Literatura e Religião (Porto 2007, 49-60); with Ana Sacau, ‘Visibilidade e invisibilidade das mulheres: ditos e não-ditos’, in Alcinda Cabral (ed.), Marroquinos na Venda Ambulante (Porto 2007, 109-128); ‘A teologia da metáfora de Paul Ricoeur e as teologias feministas’, in Silva, Manuela e Henrique, Fernanda (ed.), Teologia e género. Perspectivas, ruídos, novas construções (Coimbra 2006, 81-93); ‘Deusa, in Macedo, Ana Gabriela e Amaral, Ana Luísa (ed.), Dicionário da Crítica Feminista. Porto 2005, 35-36. ‘Das analoge Verständnis der Rede von Gott – Seine Bedeutung für eine feministische Theologie’, in Gäde, Gerhard (ed.), Hören – Glauben – Denken (Muenster 2005, 83-100).A selection from her recent works in English: “Sisterhood in different voices? Religion, secularism and women rights”, in: Journal of the European Society of Women in Theological Research 20 (2012) 59-86.; “Secularist Dreams” and “Women’s Rights”: Notes on an “Ambiguous Relationship”. In: RCCS Annual Review: an online journal for the social sciences and the humanities 3, October 2011, p. 1-19.Professor Toldy is President of the Portuguese Association of Feminist Theologians and member of the ESWTR (European Society of Woman in Theological Research). She is also Vice-President of the Portuguese Association on Women’s Studies.

  • Prof Rosemary Radford Ruether, Professor of Feminist Theology at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University, USA.
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    Dr Ruether holds a BA in Philosophy from Scripps College (1958), an MA in Ancient History (1960) and a PhD in Classics and Patristics (1965) from Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California. She currently is Professor of Feminist Theology at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University. She formerly was Carpenter Professor of Feminist Theology at the Pacific School of Religion and Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, California), and Georgia Harkness Emerita Professor of Applied Theology at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston, Illinois).She has been a pioneer in the area of feminist theology in North America, with a particular focus on modern feminist theology and liberation theology, especially in Palestine and Latin America. The World Catalogue lists 343 works by her in 701 publications in 13 languages.Her best known books are: The Church Against Itself (New York 1967); Gregory of Nazianzus (Oxford 1969); Faith and fratricide: the theological roots of anti-Semitism (New York 1974); Sexism and God-Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology (Beacon Press 1993); Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing (Harper-Collins 1994); In Our Own Voices: Four Centuries of American Women’s Religious Writing (ed. with Rosemary Skinner Keller, Harper-Collins 1996); Introducing Redemption in Christian Feminism (editor, Continuum 1998); The Wrath of Jonah: The Crisis of Religious Nationalism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Fortress 2002); Integrating Ecofeminism Globalization and World Religions (Littlefield Publishers 2005); Goddesses and the Divine Feminine: A Western Religious History (University of California Press 2005); America, Amerikkka: Elect Nation & Imperial Violence (Equinox 2007).Other recent books include Contemporary Roman Catholicism: Crises and Challenges (1987); Disputed Questions: On Being a Christian (1989); Beyond Occupation: American Jewish, Christian and Palestinian Voices for Peace (edited by Marc H. Ellis, 1990); A Democratic Catholic Church: The Reconstruction of Roman Catholicism (edited with Eugene C. Bianchi (1992); ‘The Woman Will Overcome the Warrior’: A Dialogue With the Christian/Feminist Theology of Rosemary Radford Ruether (1994); God and the Nations (with Douglas John Hall, 1995); and At Home in the World: The Letters of Thomas Merton and Rosemary Radford Ruether (written with Merton and edited by Mary Tardiff, 1995).

    Ruether is a member of numerous professional associations, including the Society for Religion in Higher Education, the American Theological Association, and the Society for Arts, Religion and Culture. She served with Ross Kraemer and Lorine Getz as national co-chair of the Women’s Caucus: Religious Studies and was a board member of the Program of Women and Religion at Harvard Divinity School and of Chicago Catholic Women.

  • Prof Joseph A. Selling, Professor of Moral Theology, Louvain University, Belgium.
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    Professor Joseph A. Selling studied philosophy and theology at Louvain University (TheolDr/PhD 1977-1978, summa cum laude). He was Associate Professor of Moral Theology at Louvain University (1978-1989), and then Full Professor (1989-2011). He lectured as visiting professor in various places, such as the American College Theological Institute in Rome, Fordham University, Bronx NY, Marymatha Seminary in Trichur, Kerala, India and Holy Trinity Seminary in Jalandhar, Punjab, India. In Louvain he also took part in the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Law, Faculty of Medicine (member of the Advisory Council, 1986–1997; 2005–2011); the Center for Conciliar Studies for Vatican II; the Center for Ecumenical Research; Overlegcentrum Kristelijke Ethiek / European Center for Ethics (member of the executive committee, 1989 – 2011). He was co-founder of the Center for Women’s Studies in Theology (1994 – 1997).Among his publications we find: The Reaction to Humanae Vitae: A Study in Special and Fundamental Theology (Leuven 1977); (With Jan Grootaers) The 1980 Synod of Bishops “On the Role of the Family”: An Exposition of the Event and an Evaluation of the Texts. (Leuven 1983); (Editor) Personalist Morals: Essays in honor of Prof. Louis Janssens (Leuven 1988); (Editor, with J. De Tavernier and others) Christenen en samenleving: Bijdragen tot een Christelijke ethiek (Kampen 1991); (Editor, with A. Liégeois and others) Aspecten van een christelijke sociale ethiek: Colloquium over Christelijke ethiek naar aanleiding van 100 jaar ‘Rerum novarum’ (Leuven 1991); (Editor, with J. Jans) The Splendor of Accuracy: An Examination of the Assertions made by Veritatis Splendor (Kampen 1994; Grand Rapids 1995); (Editor) The Ministry of the Word: Essays in Honor of Prof. Dr. Raymond F. Collins. (Leuven 1995); (Editor) Embracing Sexuality: Authority and Experience in the Catholic Church. (Aldershot 2001); With Leen Trommelmans and Kris Dierickx, Ethical Issues in Tissue Engineering, (Leuven, 2007); (Editor, with J. DeTavernier, J. Verstraeten and P. Schotsmans) Responsibility, God and Society. Theological Ethics in Dialogue. Festschrift Roger Burggraeve (Leuven 2008); “Magisterial Teaching on Marriage 1880-1968: Historical Constancy or Radical Development?” in R. Tremblay & D. Billy (eds.), Historia: memoria futuri (Rome 1991, 351-402); “The Authority of Church Teaching in Matters of Morality / Het Gezag van de kerkelijke leer inzake de moraal”, in F. Vosman & K. Merks (eds), Aiming at Happiness: The Moral Teaching of the Catechism (Kampen 1996, 194-221); Uit op geluk. De Katechismus van de katholieke kerk over goed en dwaad. Uitleg en commentaar (Baarn 1996, 205-232.); “Authority and Moral Teaching in a Catholic Christian Context”, in Bernard Hoose (ed.), Christian Ethics: An Introduction (London 1998, 57-71); “Marriage and Sexuality in the Catholic Church” (with Mary Grey), in J. Selling (ed.), Embracing Sexuality: Authority and Experience in the Catholic Church (Aldershot 2001) 179-196).Professor Selling is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America (since 1980); The “Conciliar Process” : Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation; upon appointment by the Council of European Bishops Conferences (CCEE) member of the joint (CCEE-KEK) preparatory commission for the “European Ecumenical Assembly: Peace with Justice” (Basel 1989); Co-author of the Final Document for the European Ecumenical Assembly (Geneva 1989); Moderator (for Roman Catholic participation in) the joint CEC-CCEE follow-up committee for the Basel Assembly (CCEE appointment, 1990-1995); Theological Advisor for the World Convocation of Churches on Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (Seoul, S. Korea, 1990, sponsored by the World Council of Churches); member of the Nomination Committee for the position of Professor of Moral Theology, Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, 1994-1995, University of Tilburg, 2004-2005); Member of Advisory Board, EcoTheology (UK) (from vol. 1, 1996-2000); and Member of the Association of Teachers of Moral Theology (since 1998).

  • Prof Leonard Swidler, Director of the Institute for Interreligious, Intercultural Dialogue, Philadelphia, USA.
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    Prof Leonard Swidler is Founder/Director of the Institute for Interreligious, Intercultural Dialogue (Philadelphia 1985), and Co-Founder/Director of the Global Dialogue Institute (1995), holds degrees in History, Philosophy, and Theology, was visiting Professor at Graz (Austria), Hamburg and Tübingen (Germany), Nankai University (Tianjin, China), Fudan University (Shanghai), and Temple University Japan (Tokyo), University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). He has published more than 60 books, including: Dialogue for Reunion (1962), Jewish-Christian Dialogues (1966), Bloodwitness for Peace and Unity (1977), Jewish-Christian-Muslim Dialogue (1978), From Holocaust to Dialogue (1981), Buddhism Made Plain (1984), Religious Liberty and Human Rights (1986), Breaking down the Wall Between Americans & East Germans, Christians and Jews (1987), Catholic-Communist Collaboration in Italy (1988), After the Absolute: The Dialogical Future of Religious Reflection (1990), Death or Dialogue. From the Age of Monologue to the Age of Dialogue (1990), A Bridge to Buddhist-Christian Dialogue (1990), Human Rights: Christians, Marxists, and Others in Dialogue (1991), Muslims in Dialogue. The Evolution of a Dialogue over a Generation (1992), For All Life: Toward a Universal Declaration of a Global Ethic. An Interreligious Dialogue (1998), Theoria & Praxis. How Jews, Christians, Muslims Can Together Move from Theory To Practice (1999), The Study of Religion in the Age of Global Dialogue (2000).

  • thompsonsProf Milburn Thompson, Professor of Theology at Bellarmine University, USA.
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    J. Milburn Thompson, Ph.D., is professor of Theology at Bellarmine University. He returned to his hometown, Louisville, KY, and came to Bellarmine in 2001. From 1982-2001 he taught Religious Studies at Saint Joseph College (now University of Saint Joseph), in West Hartford, Connecticut, where he received the annual award for excellence in teaching and a Templeton Foundation Award for a new course in Religion and Science. He received his doctorate in Theology from Fordham University, New York City’s Jesuit University.Dr. Thompson is the author of Introducing Catholic Social Thought (Orbis Books, 2010) and Justice and Peace: A Christian Primer (Orbis Books, 1997, revised 2003). Both books received a First Place Award for Educational Books from the Catholic Press Association in 2011 and 1998 respectively. Thompson has also written a booklet Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Dream of a Just Community (Pax Christi USA, 1986) and has published articles in journals such as Concilium, New Theology Review, the Annual of the College Theology Society, and the Journal for Peace and Justice Studies. He has written dozens of refereed articles and popular essays in the areas of moral theology and Christian social ethics, including commentary for Today’s American Catholic. In 2011 he received the Wilson T. Wyatt Fellowship for Academic Excellence from Bellarmine University.Dr. Thompson has served on the Peace and Justice Committee for the Archdiocese of Louisville and for the Archdiocese of Hartford. He has served on the ethics committees of hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home care agencies.With his wife, Mary Ann (Associate Professor of Nursing at McKendree University), he has travelled throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Australia.

  • guussProf Guus Wijngaards, Professor of eLearning at the Inholland University, Rotterdam, Netherlands
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    Guus Wijngaards practiced the following professions before he started to work as Professor on eLearning at the Inholland University, Rotterdam, Netherlands: Teacher, Researcher, Journalist, Foreign Secretary teacher union, Secretary General European Association of Teachers (AEDE), Editor in Chief and Projects Manager of CONTEXT, EUN (European Schoolnet) Communication Manager and Deputy Director. Since 1973, he was active in many organizations, to mention a few: Member of the General Board and Chairman of the Working Party Management Training and Education of the European Movement, Member of Scientific Institute of the Dutch Christian Democratic Party, Member of Society of Dutch Literature, Member of Team Europe, National Chairman of the Dutch Herpetology Association “Lacerta”. He attained in May 1973 an MA in Dutch and in February 1986, an Arts PhD on European cultural and scientific history. He has published several books and some 300 articles on educational, cultural, foreign political and literary subjects.


Members of our administrative team

Our administrative team consists mainly of volunteers. Some work in our central office to the north of London. Others help us from home. Their help is crucial for the success of our institute. Here we list just a few of them. Click on each image to read the team member’s story.

Sr Anne MillerAnne

Barbara PaskinsBarbara

Therese KoturbashTherese

Jackie ClacksonJackie


David MarsdenDavid

Alicja BaranowskaAlicja

Miriam DuignanMiriam

Pam WearingPam

Francoise BourguignonFrançoise

Board of Trustees

The main legal carrier of our work is Housetop Care Limited, a Charity registered in England and Wales with registration number 1053251. Our Trustees are John Wijngaards DD LSS (Chair), Barbara Paskins MSc (Vice Chair), Margaret Burke PhD, Jacqueline Clackson BA BEd, Ben Clackson MA, Brian Gallagher MA, Colm Holmes MA, Sr Anne Miller BEd and Pamela Wearing MA.

We have two auxiliary Charities: ‘Stichting Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research’ in the Netherlands (KvK no. 41056067) and ‘Housetop Center for Women’s Ministry’ in the USA, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, Charity no. 1748475. Donations to those charities are eligible for tax relief in the relevant country.