Today’s activist is award-winning journalist Rosie Dawson.
Tell us about yourself! Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Rosie Dawson, a journalist with a particular interest and expertise in Religion. Most of my career has been spent in radio and television for the BBC. Since going freelance earlier this year I’ve been able to diversify into print, podcasting and training. My specialism in Religion led to membership of the Religion and Theology panel for the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) Research Excellence Framework (REF) and I’m enjoying seeing the exciting range of research being undertaken in UK universities. I’m also an Associate Research Fellow with the William Temple Foundation which seeks, through action and research, to understand the role that Religion plays in public life.
I studied Theology at university – many years ago, and before Feminist Theology had made it onto any syllabus anywhere! But one summer afternoon I attended an extra-curricular lecture on it and it’s no exaggeration to say that that was life-changing.
How do you think the Shiloh Project’s work on religion and rape culture can add to and enrich discussion and action on the topic of gender activism today? Is there more we can do? What else should we post?
Like many others I have been energized and excited by the work that the Shiloh Project is doing. It seems to have been ready and waiting for the #MeToo movement to explode. I read Phyllis Trible’s Texts of Terror when it came out in the 80s but it seems that there’s an opportunity now to spread insights about the Bible and rape culture beyond academia in a way that hasn’t beenpossible before. The conference organized by Emma Nagouse in July 2018 succeeded in bringing together academic and practical responses to rape culture. It was a wonderful day in which a community of women from a generous range of perspectives listened to and encouraged each other.
In the year ahead, how will you contribute to advancing the aims and goals of The Shiloh Project?
I am working with members of the Shiloh Project and others to see how its insights can be shared more widely in broadcasts, podcasts and print. That there is public appetite to hear these perspectives was demonstrated by the response to Dr Katie Edwards’ talk for BBC Radio 4 (The Silence of the Lamb) which won an award from the Jerusalem Trust. Other plans are afoot. Shiloh Project academics are among those contributing to a podcast series I have produced about the Texts of Terror which should be published early in Spring 2019. Do watch this space – and then please share, share, share!