Melissa Browning, Ph.D.
Atlanta, Georgia USA

Melissa Browning is a theologian, ethicist, and activist who studies congregational and community-based responses to injustice. Melissa teaches at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University where she is the Assistant Professor of Contextual Ministry. For the past 17 years Melissa’s study and fieldwork has been tied to East Africa. Her recent book, "Risky Marriage: HIV and Intimate Relationships in Tanzania," builds on a year of fieldwork completed in Mwanza, Tanzania where women were asked to re-imagine Christian marriage as a space of safety and health for women. Melissa is also active in death penalty abolitionist work in Georgia and is an ordained Baptist minister.

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Embodied Participatory Learning

By on August 2, 2013

Embodied Participatory Learning: Engaging African Communal Theology as a Method of Feminist Pedagogy

Embodied Participatory Learning_1

About the Project
This collaborative pedagogy project by the Women in Theology group at Loyola University Chicago explored the role of experience in a Women and Religion classroom at Loyola. In this class, which was cross-listed in Theology and Women’s Studies, the students were asked to approach “sacred texts” through a feminist method of embodied participatory learning where they were invited to speak their experience to the texts. Stories that many feminist theologians would consider “texts of terror” within Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scriptures were given as options for students who then turned the texts into dramatic commentaries on issues women face today, such as rape or violence. This documentary reflects on the successes and limitations of the project.

Embodied Participatory Learning_2Project Resources
The classroom syllabus and project guidelines were created by Mary Moorman, instructor of record for the Women in Theology course utilized by the project. The Ground Rules were written by Andrea Hollingsworth. The sample script was written by Melissa Browning, Teresa Calpino, and Jeanine Viau.

Course Syllabus
Paper Assignment Guidelines
Group Project Guidelines
Role of Mentor
Ground Rules for Discussion
Sample Script
Project Bibliography

Related Presentations

Melissa Browning, Sex and Sacred Texts Take the Stage in the Classroom, part of panel presentation: “Women’s Studies Meets Theology: Sex and Sacred Texts Take the Stage in the Classroom” with Mary Moorman, Elisabeth Vasko and Jeanine Viau. National Women’s Studies Association Annual Meeting, Cincinnati, OH, June 19-22, 2008.

Embodied Participatory Learning: Engaging African Communal Theology as a Method of Feminist Pedagogy, Presentation by the Women in Theology reading group, sponsored by the Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, Loyola University, Oct. 17, 2007.

Documentary Film