Directory of Organizing Committee and Board Members
History of the GSC
The God & Sexuality Conference (GSC) is a unique event, combining academic presentations and workshop style sessions in a conference of Scholars and Students, Leaders and Lay-people. The conference, held at Bard College in upstate New York, is distinct as a student initiated conference for professionals interested in religion and issues of sexuality and gender.
The God and Sexuality conference was first held in April of 1999 at Bard College in Upstate New York. The conference included five sessions and a panel discussion based on the propaganda film "The Gay Agenda." The Keynote speaker was Rabbi Steven Greenberg, the first openly gay orthodox rabbi. The conference was an immediate success and was again held in April of 2001, featuring four academic presentations as well as three workshop sessions. A total of twelve speakers presented, eight of whom are professors at a university or college.
Speakers have included Dr. Chai R. Feldblum, main drafter of the Employment Non-Descrimination Act; Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus; Dr. Everett K. Rowson of the University of Pennsylvania; and Rev. Dr. Paul Murray, Catholic Priest, Gay Rights Activist, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Bard College. Dr. Murray is the chairperson of the GSC's Academic Advisory Board.
The GSC was created in response to interest among students and professors in understanding what religious communities and traditions have to say about these pertinent issues. The resulting project brings together scholars of History, Anthropology, Religion, Political Science, and Sociology.
At the center of this unique forum is an academic conference on a particular topic. Accomplished scholars present original papers, each addressing a different religious tradition. This forms the core of the conference and is enhanced by additional workshops and seminars. These sessions all focus on something under the general theme of the conference (Religion and issues of sexuality and gender) but do not necessarily focus on the specific topic of the academic portion.
Students coming with their professors have a unique opportunity to see the academic world beyond their own classrooms. Professors, likewise, have the chance to learn and engage in a setting unique in its multi-tradition and multi-discipline approach to a common issue. The conference is filled with energy and learning as so many interested parties converge.