Queering Christianity: A Conversation with Angela Yarber

Rev. Dr. Angela Yarber discusses the revolutionary work of the Holy Women Icons Project. As an intersectionally ecofeminist organization, the Holy Women Icons Project seeks to empower marginalized women and to be an accomplice in the work for justice for ethnic and racial minorities, women, LGBTQs, people with differing abilities, immigrants and refugees, the poor, animals, the earth, and all living at the margins of society.

This is the fifth and final episode in my series Revisioning Christianity. The series began with the icon of anastasis and it ends with icons of holy women throughout history, religion, and mythology.

Rev. Dr. Angela Yarber is the Founder and Executive Director of the Holy Women Icons Project. The Holy Women Icons Project seeks to empower marginalized women by telling the stories of revolutionary holy women through art, writing, and special events. Noticing a lack of women in iconography, she gave traditional iconography a folk-feminist twist by painting images of revolutionary holy women from history, mythology, and scripture. The Holy Women Icons Project also includes special events, retreats, workshops, lectures, sermons, and worship series related to these revolutionary holy women. And in 2017, HWIP began creating a retreat center on Hawaii Island to house these special events, artwork, and writings.

Dr. Yarber speaks with John Shuck about her own journey toward simplicity, a renewed vocation, and her vision for queering the church by making the church fully inclusive and empowering for all people. She discusses her move to Hawaii with her wife and child, turning Holy Women Icons Project into a non-profit, her work in building self-esteem among adolescent girls, traversing grief, and honoring the stories of queer women of color through the Holy Women Icons Project. You can see and hear more of their story on the television show, Tiny House Nation.

Rev. Dr. Yarber holds a Ph.D. in Art and Religion and is author of seven books that address the intersections among gender/sexuality, religion/spirituality, and the arts. An ordained, queer clergywoman, she served local churches for fourteen years, and she has taught graduate and undergraduate students since 2006. Her books include Microaggressions in MinistryHoly Women IconsHoly Women Icons Contemplative Coloring BookThe Gendered Pulpit, Dance in ScriptureTearing Open the Heavens, & Embodying the Feminine in the Dances of the World’s Religions

Other guests in the series, Revisioning Christianity include:

John Dominic Crossan, Resurrecting Easter: How the West Lost and the East kept the Original Easter Vision,

Bart Ehrman:  The Triumph of Christianity: How A Forbidden Religion Swept the World,

David Skrbina: The Jesus Hoax: How St. Paul’s Cabal Fooled the World for Two Thousand Years, and

Bishop John Shelby Spong: Unbelievable: How Neither Ancient Creeds nor the Reformation Can Produce a Living Faith Today.

All of those interviews are available on podcast at Progressive Spirit.

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