Hedgerow Initiative|Abounding in Spirit: Forging Faith in Questing Times

Mondays, September 21 through December 7, 2015, 6:30 - 8:30 pm


The Hedgerow Initiative offers sustained, systematic programming in feminist theological education, spiritual integration, and leadership for a just and holy world. In a particular way, the Initiative highlights the scholarship of women who since the 1950s have worked to reclaim women’s presence and significance in scripture, church, history, theology and culture. The Initiative takes its name from the hedgerow schools in Ireland that kept alive the language, faith, culture and community of the people during the time of the British penal codes. A hedgerow is a biosphere and a haven.

Among wise, creative, and inspiring theologians today, Elizabeth Johnson and Diana L. Hayes stand out.  Both will be featured in the Hedgerow Seminar and through their most recent books.  They will take us to the heart of issues challenging our faith today: our treatment of the natural world, and the poverty and prejudice embedded in U.S. social structures.

All of Elizabeth Johnson’s scholarship has been aimed at raising the voices of women in the church and integrating women’s experience into Christian theology. Her ever-evolving theological work ranges from her call to use all the biblical imagery of God to examining Christology in the light of feminist, liberation, and new cosmology theologies and wagering that an ethic for Earth can develop out of beholding God’s beloved, evolving creation.

As theologian-in-residence with us from October 4 to 13, Diana L. Hayes will explore African American spirituality, which she describes as “born of the pride and pain, the horror and hope of a people whose eyes have always been watching God and whose hands stayed firm on the plow as they fought their way to freedom.  It is a spirituality forged in the fiery furnace of more than four hundred years of slavery, segregation, and racism but grounded in a history thousands of years old of a people who believed in someone greater than themselves.”

Diana L. Hayes, Emerita Professor of Systematic Theology at Georgetown University, speaks for and with Black Christian women as a womanist theologian who works to eradicate oppression in all of its forms. Her books will be available for purchase and signing.

Download the Fall 2015 Hedgerow Syllabus



Photo Credit: Kabeya Pictures


Come join the dialogue, and nourish a resilient, evolutionary spirituality. Weekly topics:

  • September 21: “Creation: Is God’s Charity Broad Enough for Bears?”  Abounding: 97-123.

  • September 25: Public Lecture with Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ; "Darwin and the God of Love: Is God's Charity Broad Enough for Bears?"  O'Shaughnessey Auditorium, SCU, 7:00 pm

  • September 28: Discuss Elizabeth Johnson lecture

  • October 5: Diana Hayes, Ph.D., Theologian in Residence, Fiery Furnace, Chapters 1-3

  • October 12: Diana Hayes, Ph.D., Theologian in Residence, Fiery Furnace, Chapters 4-6

  • October 19: "Beautiful Are the Souls of My Black Sisters," Fiery Furnace, Chapter 7, and "The God of Life in Feminist Liberation Theology, for Gustavo Gutierrez," Abounding: 137-149.

  • October 26: "Passing on the Faith, the Banquet of the Creed," Abounding: 3-19; "Atheism and Faith in a Secular World," Abounding: 20-34; "Heaven and Earth are Filled with Your Glory, Atheism and Ecological Spirituality." Abounding: 35-55.

  • November 2: "Friends of God and Prophets, Waking a Sleeping Symbol," Abounding: 263-282; Communio Sanctorum in a Cosmic Framework," Abounding: 283-288

  • November 6: Fall Soul Conference: The Soul of the Living Universe, Ilia Delio, OSF, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

  • November 7: Fall Soul Conference: A Day with Ilia Delio, OSF, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

  • November 9: "Creative Giver of Life," Abounding: 79-96; "Remembering the Holy Spirit, Love Poured Out," Abounding: 227-235.

  • November 16: "A Theological Case for Naming God She," Abounding: 124-136; "Feminism and Sharing the Faith," Abounding: 56-72; "Coming in from the Cold, Women Envision the Church," Abounding: 236-248

  • November 23: "Jesus Research and Christian Faith," Abounding: 157-179; "Jesus Died for Us," Abounding: 180-186 & Romans 5:1-8; "Resurrection, Promise of the Future," Abounding: 187-194

  • November 30: "Wisdom Was Made Flesh and Pitched Her Tent Among Us," Abounding: 195-210; "Jesus and Women, 'You are set free' (Bent over woman|," Abounding: 215-224; "Interpreting Scripture Through Women's Eyes," Abounding: 249-262.  Featuring SCU Theology Department Associate Professor Colleen Mary Carpenter.

  • December 7: "Truly Our Sister, A Critical Reading of the Marian Tradition," Abounding: 289-301; "Hearts on Fire, A Revolutionary Song (Magnificat)," Abounding: 302-312

Download the Fall 2015 Hedgerow Syllabus


Diana Hayes will be at the SCU bookstore (located in Coeur de Catherine) on October 6 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm for an Author Meet and Greet.



Susan Hames, CSJ, ABD; Rev. Barbara Lund; Mary Kaye Medinger, Consociate, MA; Joan Mitchell, CSJ, Ph.D.; Catherine Steffens, CSJ, MA; and guest presenters: Diana L. Hayes Ph.D; Sharon Howell, CSJ; Jessica Lopez Lyman, Ph.D candidate.

Two Required Texts:


Abounding in Kindness: Writings for the People of God, Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ ($20.00)




Forged in a Fiery Furnace: African American Spirituality, Diana L. Hayes ($18.50)



Both texts are available from www.goodgroundpress.com (800) 232-5533 or at Wisdom Ways.

WHEN: Mondays, September 21 through December 7, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

COST: $240.00 for all 12 sessions, including lecture by Elizabeth Johnson on Friday, September 25, and the Fall Soul Conference opening on Friday, November 6. 

$25.00 per session