Mondays, February 3 – April 20, 2020
6:30 – 8:30 pm

In response to the public health concerns related to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), Wisdom Ways will pause all programs through June 30, 2020. This includes Hedgerow from Monday, March 16 – April 20.

Life, love, loss, death, hope—the common coin of human experience.   Spring Hedgerow features Gnostic scholar Elaine Pagels as she reflectively traces her own spiritual journey in her memoir Why Religion?.

Lent features Elizabeth Johnson’s creative dialogue with the satisfaction theology of Anselm—that Jesus had to die for our sins. In 1098, theologian Anselm wrote a treatise that claimed it was necessary for God to become a human being and die in order to save the human race from our sins.  This satisfaction theory that Jesus’ death paid back what was due to God grew out of the feudal culture of the time, and for the next millennium in the West put the emphasis on sin and the cross rather than Jesus’ resurrection.

Elaine Pagels struggles through loss as a parent, spouse, scholar, friend, and ever-curious seeker for healing and hope.  Why do we need religion?  How do spiritual traditions sustain us—our rituals and prayers, our contemplative practices and generous actions for the good of others?  Who sustains us, especially in pain, crisis, and loss—family, friends, spouses, communities of faith, Jesus, God?

Celebrate Lent and all creation with fresh Easter theology.  What do we make of Jesus’ death today?  For nearly a thousand years Anselm of Canterbury (A.D. 1033-1109) has shaped the Western Church’s idea of God and the cross of Jesus, making God an abusive father who sends his son to die for our sins.  Johnson’s book journeys from Anselm’s feudal interpretation into the life of Jesus’ resurrection in cosmic context.  By Easter, participants may be a new kind of Christian.


COST:  $240.00 for the series, $25.00 per session
(The 4/20 session is free to attend; please register.)

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.

Required Texts:

Books available for purchase at Wisdom Ways.

Hedgerow Instructors:


Joan Mitchell, CSJ, PhD


Andrea Tande, MA, Co-director CSJ Consociate Services


Colleen Carpenter, PhD, Saint Catherine University


Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, PhD (via Zoom Session)

This Program’s Calendar Entries

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