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Women Advancing Knowledge Equity: The Parliament of the World’s Religions

© 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions

Women Advancing Knowledge Equity: The Parliament of the World’s Religions is a collection of biographies about women who are noteworthy leaders and participants in The Parliament of the World’s Religions® but whose geographical location, economic status and occupational attentions obscure the significant influence and impact of their lives and work. This lack of coverage, fueled, at least in part, by an 18th-century definition of knowledge that privileges the scientific method, technological development, and masculine achievement even as it discounts knowledge and histories that are oral, embodied, and unpublished, leads to tremendous gaps in our knowledge about these women. These gendered gaps in knowledge create issues of gender parity on print and digital platforms where women, particularly women marginalized by race, economics, and geography are poorly represented. This volume challenges the norms and practices that create this lack of parity, with analytical biographies that create knowledge about these women and give us a sense of the women themselves, as knowledge creators.

Women Advancing Knowledge Equity: The Parliament of the World’s Religions is the third volume in the series Women in Religion, edited by Colleen Hartung.

The ATLA Women in Religion series was an outgrowth of the “Women in Religion Wiki Project,” an initiative to create, update, and improve Wikimedia content pertaining to the lives of cis-gender and trans-gender women who are notable as scholars, activists and practitioners in the world’s religious, spiritual and wisdom traditions. Volumes One and Two of the Women in Religion series, also edited by Colleen Hartung, were published by Atla Open Press and are copyrighted by the American Theological Library Association (Atla). These two volumes are available online in PDF and EPUB formats under a CC-BY-NC license and as print-on-demand copies at

This third volume is published independently by the Parliament of the World’s Religions® and is available online under a CC-BY-SA license and as print-on-demand copies via Amazon. This volume continues the initiative’s work of creating biographical sources about women in religion that challenge and explore biased conventions and principles that regulate print and digital content creation about women.

Featured Biographies

Teresia Mbari Hinga

Pamela Ayo Yetunde

Jennifer Howe Peace

Iyekiyapiwiƞ Darlene St. Clair

Bishop Barbara Lewis King

Elizabeth Ursic

Audrey E. Kitagawa

Dolly Dastoor


This volume is dedicated to Mary (Polly) Hamlen, a founding member of the Women in Religion Wikipedia Project. Polly’s extraordinary contributions as an editor on Wikipedia, as an author of secondary sources about under-covered women in religion, and as patient mentor, have made a significant, global impact on the problem of gender bias on Wikipedia and beyond. We are grateful.


PHYLLIS CUROTT is one of America’s first public Wiccan Priestesses, an attorney and author whose groundbreaking books, published in fourteen countries, made Wicca accessible to the world and awakened an entire generation to the Goddess. Named one of the Ten Gutsiest Women of the Year by Jane Magazine, she was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collegium of Clergy and Scholars. New York Magazine declared Curott’s teaching the culture’s “next big idea” and her Youtube series on Wicca has more than 3,000,000 views. Widely covered in the international media, Time recently published her challenge to the world’s faiths to lead the way in the fight for the human rights and dignity of women as one of “America’s leading voices.” Curott is the Chair of the Women’s Task Force, creator of the historic 2015 Inaugural Women’s Assembly and drafted the Parliament’s Declaration for the Dignity and Human Rights of Women. She is founder of the Temple of Ara, the world’s oldest shamanic Wiccan congregation. Curott received her degree in philosophy from Brown University and her Juris Doctor from New York University. She is currently working on her next book, Nature’s Holy Magic.

JONATHON EDER, MA, is Manager of Programs and Scholarly Engagement at The Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, MA. He is creator and host of the Library’s Seekers and Scholars podcast. Scholarly interests focus on women in religious leadership, spirituality and health, and the nexus of spirituality in private and public life. He has presented on “Quakerism and Christian Science in Alice Paul’s Women’s Rights Activism,” American Society of Church History, 2023; “Making ‘Seekers and Scholars,’ the Mary Baker Eddy Library Podcast,” New England Museum Association, 2019; and at other conferences. Journal articles and book chapters include, “Manhood and Mary Baker Eddy: Muscular Christianity and Christian Science” in Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture, Dec. 2020, and “Mary Burt Messer: Christian Science Healer as Sociologist and Scholar,” in Challenging Bias against Women Academics in Religion, Vol. 2, Women in Religion series (Chicago: Atla Open Press, 2021). 

DEBBIE FULTHORP, DMin, is an Assistant Professor with the College of Theology at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. She has also been an adjunct faculty member at SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary in CA and Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, TX. She primarily teaches Christian Worldview 101 and serves on GCU’s College of Theology Diversity Committee. In her DMin project, “Spirit-Empowered Woman in Church Leadership,” she created and implemented an undergraduate and layperson course advocating full equality of women in church leadership for Pentecostal educators. Her past work included writing two chapters in the Atla Women in Religions series and the publication of a chapter in Women in Ministry and Leadership: An Anthology, edited by Drs. Deborah Gill and Stephanie Nance. Her other interests include using narrative in theological education, Pentecostal history, advocacy for women in Christian ministry, and spending time with her family.

ROSALIND FLYNN HINTON is an oral historian, independent scholar, educator, and activist. She is currently a cultural editor of the journal Cross Currents. She is a member of the Women in Religion Wikipedia Project working with the Kenyan Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians addressing gender bias on digital platforms like Wikipedia. She is a member of the Women’s Caucus of the American Academy of Religion, co-leading the biographies panel. She created laoutloud. and nolajewishwomen, websites dedicated to storytelling and narrative forms of expression. She has a PhD in Religious Studies from Northwestern University and has taught multiculturalism, feminist theology and African American religions and history at DePaul University in Chicago and at Tulane and Loyola Universities in New Orleans. Her most recent article is “Environmental Racism and Reflective Democracy: Louisiana and Cancer Alley” in Valuing Lives Healing Earth.

MARY C. HAMLEN is an independent scholar and Wikipedian working to address gender bias on digital platforms. In addition to adding content to Wikipedia and Wikidata, Hamlen frequently helps train new editors. She leads monthly editing sessions with the Women in Religion User Group, and is a member of the Australian Women in Religion project. As part of the Women in Religion book series, she has authored article-length biographies about the Rev. Dr. Yvonne V. Delk, a social justice leader from the United Church of Christ, and Dr. Isabel Apawo Phiri, formerly the Deputy General Secretary of the World Council of Churches. Hamlen is a certified mediator, and has worked as program staff with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. She holds a Masters of Advanced Studies in Ecumenical Studies from the University of Geneva, and a Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion. 

REV. SHERYL JOHNSON, PhD, is a visiting faculty lecturer at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California. She is also an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada/United Church of Christ. She is the author of Serving Money, Serving God: Aligning Radical Justice, Christian Practice, and Church Life (Fortress Press, 2023). Her research focuses on the intersection of church finance, leadership, and social and ecological justice. 

CHRISTINE MEYER is a long-time, experienced, and prolific Wikipedia editor and contributor since 2007, specializing in a variety of topics, such as African American writer and poet Maya Angelou, children’s media, the sport of figure skating, and obscure female saints. She has been a member of the Women in Religion Wikipedia Project since 2020. She has a master’s degree in English from the University of Idaho, where she studied pedagogy, English and American literature, poetry, and the digital humanities. Before that, she was a Sign Language interpreter for 30 years and has fluency in American Sign Language, and worked in the mental health field for ten years. Christine resides in Moscow, Idaho, with her husband and her two severely developmentally disabled young adult children.

KARMA LEKSHE TSOMO is currently the Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where she completed a Ph.D. in Comparative Philosophy in 2000. Her research interests include women in Buddhism, death and identity, Buddhist feminist ethics, Buddhism and bioethics, Buddhist social ethics, and Buddhist transnationalism. She integrates scholarship and social activism through Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women, Sakyadhita Hawai‘i, and Jamyang Foundation, a nonprofit that supports education programs for girls and women in the Indian Himalayas, Bangladesh, and other countries. Her publications include Women in Buddhist Traditions; Buddhist Feminisms and Femininities; Into the Jaws of Yama: Buddhism, Bioethics, and Death; Sisters in Solitude: Two Traditions of Monastic Ethics for Women; and numerous articles and edited works on women in Buddhism. 

Winifred Whelan is an independent scholar and researcher with an MA from Marquette University and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Her research centers around epistemology and linguistics. Publications include: “English in the Roman Catholic Liturgy 1969-2002” (2013) in World Englishes 32, no. 3, (September): 429-442; “Postmodernism in the Work of Julia Kristevas” (1999) in Religious Education: An Interfaith Journal of Spirituality, Growth, and Transformation 94, no. 3 (Summer): 289-299; “Bodily Knowing: ‘More Ancient Than Thought’” (1994) in Religious Education: The Journal of the Religious Education Association and the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education 89, no. 2 (Spring): 184-193; “The DRE as Middle Manager” (1987) in The Living Light: An Interdisciplinary Review of Catholic Religious Education, Catechesis, and Ministry 23, no. 3 (March): 214-220; and The Rise and Fall of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) in the U.S. Catholic Church published as a monograph by Northeastern Illinois University Library in 2010.


COLLEEN D. HARTUNG, PhD, is co-founder and member of the Women in Religion Wikipedia Project where she works to develop global programs to address gender bias on digital platforms like Wikipedia. She teaches people around the globe how to edit and write biographical entries about women in religion. She was the series editor for the Atla Women in Religion series. She continues as editor for the Women in Religion series under the auspices of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Colleen is also the author of a contribution to Polydoxy: Theology of Multiplicity and Relation titled “Faith and Polydoxy in the Whirlwind” (Routledge, 2012). She is a homilist and leader at Holy Wisdom Monastery outside of Madison, WI. 

Editorial Assistant

HILARY WARD SCHNADT is a volunteer with the Women in Religion Wikipedia Project. She is the editor of the Illinois State Beekeepers Association Bulletin, a quarterly newsletter, and the former editor of the newsletter of Illinois Council on Continuing Higher Education. She is retired from a career in higher education, happily spent at the University Center of Lake County (Illinois), Loyola University Chicago, and Northwestern University, always helping to run programs that enabled working adults to complete bachelor’s or graduate degrees or to earn professional certifications. She has taught literature courses to adult students at Northwestern University and college research and writing courses to adult students at North Park University. She holds an MA and Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University and a certificate in nonprofit management from University of Illinois Chicago. She also received a joint BA/MA degree summa cum laude from Dominican University.

Parliament Liaison

MIRIAM V. QUEZADA MENDEZ serves as the Director of Communications at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.