Sharon Jagger is an active and curious academic and has completed her PhD at the Centre for Women’s Studies, University of York, UK. Her passion for exploring feminist thought underpins her current research into female clergy in the Church of England and how they are agents of change in feminist theology and practice.
Sharon is continuing the research into gender and religion at York St. John University, undertaking a project exploring ways in which university chaplains support trans and non-binary staff and students.
Sharon’s research is re-establishing links between secular and religious feminisms in order to unravel how ideas about gender are formed and transmitted through religious symbols in particular. Her work is providing a re-reading of some Second Wave authors who discussed the deeply embedded notions of masculinity and femininity within religions, particularly Christianity, that still influence Western culture today. Gender complementarity can be traced back to the beginnings of Christianity, which absorbed Hellenic and Hebrew patriarchal thought. Our inherited symbols and ideas about femininity require challenging at this fundamental level in order to understand how gender roles are constructed and how these constructions have so often resulted in inequality.
Sharon is also a singer songwriter and performs as part of the feminist duo Union Jill, with fellow academic Helen Turner, exploring feminist pedagogy through performance and audience participation. The duo also run vocal workshops.
As a member of the Executive of the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association as Activism Officer and is a regular contributor to the York International Women’s Festival, Sharon considers herself an activist academic. Through her writing and music she promotes feminist thinking, challenges gender inequality and invites audiences to engage in debate.
Conference papers include:
Is the Church of England Hostile to Women Priests? British Sociological Society annual conference, 2019
Feminist Pedagogy through Performance
Sexing the Focus Group: Feminist Research Methodology in Action
Critical Context as Fundamental to Research
Read Sharon’s recent article in ‘The Conversation’ here.