From Abrahamic to Eastern religions and beyond, the history of religion is overwhelmingly male, with God often described in man’s image, and many teachings reinforcing a male-dominated view of the world.
With many religions continuing to refuse women entry into positions of spiritual authority, have things progressed at all, or are we still in the dark ages?
We ask you and our panel to imagine what would change if women had greater influence over religion. Our gathered religious leaders, writers and historians debate the role of women in religion from past to present, and ask how the world might be different if we imagined God was a woman.
The panel includes:
- Dr Chetna Kang, a consultant psychiatrist, broadcaster and priest in the Hindu tradition of Bhakti Yoga. She is on the Executive Committee for the Royal College of Psychiatrists Spirituality in Psychiatry SIG and is on the Royal College of Psychiatrists Public Engagement Editorial Board. As a broadcaster, for the past three years she has presented a weekly radio show on BBC 3CR called Shrink Wrapped and also features on Radio Four's Thought for the Day and Beyond Belief.
- Dina Brawer from the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, who was recently voted Power 100 List of Individuals who are most influential in shaping the UK Jewish community
- Reverend Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James's Piccadilly, and a former Canon of St Paul's Cathedral in London, seen as a favourite to be the first female bishop in England, if the rules change
- Remona Aly, a journalist, commentator and broadcaster with a focus on faith, lifestyle and identity. She is also director of communications for Exploring Islam Foundation.
- Samani Unnat Pragyaji, Jain nun initiated in 2003 with an MA in Jainism, comparative religion and philosophy, residing in London.