Gender Religion and Power


Humboldt University Berlin, Institute for Asian and African Studies
Tuesdays 18:00 (GMT+1) / 20:00 (GMT+3)
14 WEEKS (10.11.20 - 23.02.21)


Using feminist and interdisciplinary approaches, the course examines the gendered and power dimensions of religion, religiosity, and secularism. It offers students to engage in current debates about gender and religion and to explore women’s religious lives in Abrahamic religions, especially Islam in Turkey. Because of the complex nature of gendered experiences, intersectionality is used as the primary analytical framework. The course discusses the ways in which religious women locate their religiosity, shape their lives, negotiate their agency. The course introduces students to current feminist scholarship in gender and religion through case studies on Turkey focusing on the engagement with power and religious women’s agency.


• Introduce various theoretical and methodological approaches to the intersecting studies of religion, gender, feminism, and power dimensions.

• Critically engage and analyse the ways in which intersecting relations and activities of gender and religion operate in women’s lives at the individual, community, and institutional level in Turkey.

• Discuss the ways in which power dynamics influence the gendered religious experience in the private and public domain in Turkey.

Upon the successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

• Identify various feminist and interdisciplinary approaches to discuss gender within the religious context.

• Compare liberal feminists’, feminist theologians’, religious feminists’ approaches to women’s religiosity and agency.

• Apply the theory of intersectionality for the analysis of power dynamics embedded in the religious context in the regional context of Turkey. 


A full outline of the course syllabus can be found here.

Please note that there will be a preparatory meeting that will take place during the usual class hours one week before the class starts. In this meeting, we will introduce you how the platform works and we will offer technical support so that everybody is technically ready for the first session.


Viktoria Lavriniuk is a PhD student in Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada. She holds a master’s degree in economics and management from the Bela-rusian State Economics University. Before entering academia, Viktoria was a part of the United Nations Population Fund team on promoting gender-sensitive agenda and gender mainstreaming practices in policies and programs in Belarus. Her main research interest lies in the intersection of gender and religion from a postcolonial perspective. She is interested in the ways in which women’s religiosity can be translated into liberatory practices and chal-lenge the kyriarchal power of the Church.

The course is hosted by the Institute for Asian and African Studies at Humboldt University Berlin and funded by Rosa-Luxemburg Foundation.