The Women & Spirituality Conference was founded in 1981 through a collaboration between the Mankato State University Departments of Religious Studies & Women’s Studies and the United Christian Campus Center.
“Our purpose is to provide a supportive and nurturing setting for a dialogue of caring and mutual respect between and among women from many spiritual and religious traditions. The conference does not advocate or exclude any view and continues to foster an understanding and celebration of similarities and differences. May we continue to aid one another on our individual and communal spiritual journeys.”
The Women and Spirituality Conference is dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing space, celebrating the uniqueness of women of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds.
As we set our intentions for a sustainable future, we acknowledge our relationships with all of life and the land that sustains us. This years conference will be held at the Cascade Meadow Wetlands Environmental Science Center, part of St Mary’s University campus. The site was chosen for its opportunity to engage intentionally and respectfully with the land and the water. We seek to explore the relationship between the Earth, the Land and the Great Mother who sustains us.
“The Goddess in all her manifestations was a symbol of the unity of all life in Nature. Her power was in water and stone, in tomb and cave, in animals and birds, snakes and fish, hills, trees, and flowers. Hence the holistic and mythopoeic perception of the sacredness and mystery of all there is on Earth. … The Goddess gradually retreated into the depths of forests or onto mountaintops, where she remains to this day in beliefs and fairy stories. Human alienation from the vital roots of earthly life ensued, the results of which are clear in our contemporary society. But the cycles never stop turning, and now we find the Goddess reemerging from the forests and mountains, bringing us hope for the future, returning us to our most ancient human roots.”Marija Gimbutas, “The Language of the Goddess”
Out of respect for First Nations people, we would like to acknowledge that our conference will be held on Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Dakota/Lakota) territory. While this acknowledgment may be seen by some as a political gesture, it is meant in all sincerity to promote awareness and to cause discomfort. The Women & Spirituality Conference pledges to donate 10% of its profits to the Standing Rock tribe to aid in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. We hope that you will consider supporting their work.
“If we think of territorial acknowledgments as sites of potential disruption, they can be transformative acts that to some extent undo Indigenous erasure. I believe this is true as long as these acknowledgments discomfit both those speaking and hearing the words. The fact of Indigenous presence should force non-Indigenous peoples to confront their own place on these lands.” – Chelsea Vowel, Métis, Beyond Territorial Acknowledgements