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Keeping the Faith for Accountability in a #MeToo Era
July 13, 2018
People of faith are not just speaking up in the #MeToo era, but actually combating abuse and seeking accountability within their spiritual communities. 
Courtesy of Union Theological Seminary
Why accountability matters for faith-based forgiveness July 13, 2018
The pressure to forgive an abuser can be an enormous road block in a survivor’s healing journey, as we heard about in our first #MeToo and faith episode. But Serene Jones says deep forgiveness is actually part of a larger process of seeking justice and accountability. Jones is the the president of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and the first woman to hold that title. She says sexual and domestic abuse has long been an institutional problem for churches. So how do we root out that behavior in our religious communities?

Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary
Courtesy of Faith Trust Institute
Teaching faith communities to hold abusers – and themselves – accountable July 13, 2018
Experts working with faith communities in crisis say forgiveness cannot be the first step in bringing justice to a victim of sexual or domestic abuse. Rather, it should be holding an abuser accountable, both to validate the experience of the victim and to prevent further abuse, is an essential part of the healing process. We talk with the heads of two organizations that aim to educate and train religious leaders to respond in a way that most benefits the survivor, but is also firmly rooted in their beliefs.

Emily Cohen, program manager of the Seattle-based Faith Trust Institute
Anne Marie Hunter, a United Methodist pastor and the director of the Boston-based Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence

Rethinking religion research in a #MeToo, #TimesUp world
Rethinking religion research in a #MeToo, #TimesUp world July 13, 2018
Religious institutions aren't alone in applying the lessons from #MeToo into their ministry; so, too, are academic researchers in the study of religion. Recently, the Religion and Culture Forum, a web publication from the University of Chicago Divinity School dedicated its entire May-June issue to "#MeToo, #TimesUp, and the Study of Religion." We talk with the guest editors of this issue about how researchers are incorporating the awareness brought by #MeToo into their studies.

Allison Kanner, PhD student in Islamic studies at the University of Chicago Divinity School and guest editor of the Religion and Culture Forum

Anna Lee White, a recent University of Chicago Divinity School graduate who received her Master's in the history of religions and guest editor of the Religion and Culture Forum

Allison Kanner (left) and Anna Lee White (right)

Courtesy of
Faith communities create new cultures of accountability July 13, 2018
Allegations of abuse and #MeToo experiences have impacted communities in many faiths, including the Pagan, Buddhist and Christian traditions. Holli Emore, executive director of the South Carolina-based Cherry Hill Seminary, explains how its online curriculum helps future faith leaders in Pagan and Nature-based spiritual ministries to root out abuse. Journalist Wendy Joan Biddlecombe details the fallout of recent abuse allegations in the Buddhist Shambhala International community and how it’s working to right wrongs. And Emily McFarlan Miller, a national reporter with Religion News Service, gives us an update on the #ChurchToo movement.

Holli Emore, executive director of the Cherry Hill Seminary
Wendy Joan Biddlecomb, freelance reporter for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, a magazine of Buddhist perspectives for Western audiences
Emily McFarlan Miller, national reporter with Religion News Service