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March 10 – Estella Lauter

Estella Lauter
Estella Lauter


In the 1970s and ’80s, the idea of “women’s spirituality” gained traction in the U.S. as a result of extensive research into pre-patriarchal religions and the original languages of mainstream religious texts, along with the publication of religious thought by women that went back to the Middle Ages!  This work led to the use of inclusive language in many Christian denominations, women’s ordination into traditional ministries, a revival of Wiccan religion, and the creation of new rituals around natural phenomena such as the Solstice. What happened to the idea of women’s spirituality itself in this process of assimilation into contemporary culture? In the week when we celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s ask how this idea might work again as we re-address the issue of violence against women and earth.

Estella Lauter taught interdisciplinary courses in women’s studies at UWGB, UW Madison and UW Oshkosh for over 30 years. Among the offerings that touched on the idea of women’s spirituality were those titled Women, Myth and Identity, Women As Creative Agents, Women in the Visual and Performing Arts, and American Women Poets. She will draw on some of these materials in her talk. 

Music: Gerri Friedberg; the UUFDC choir, Cynthia Stiehl, conductor, Donna Russell, accompanist
Service Leader: Chuck Lauter