Every day, global news feeds and social media engagements testify to the many complex relationships that exist between religion and gender violence. They also highlight the significant part that religions can play in both confronting and perpetuating the myths and misperceptions that lie at the heart of rape cultures – cultures that conceptualise gender violence as an “inevitable” or even profitable outcome of normative social gender roles. Religious texts, traditions, and beliefs can exert powerful influences on people’s understanding of gender relationships, shaping their responses to gender violence and rape culture within their own socio-cultural contexts.

The Shiloh Project is a joint initiative set up by staff from the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds and Auckland (NZ). It is committed to fostering research into the phenomenon of rape culture, both throughout history and within contemporary societies across the globe. In particular, it will investigate the complex and at times contentious relationships that exist between rape culture and religion, considering the various ways religion can both participate in and contest rape culture discourses and practices.

It will also explore the multiple social identities that invariably intersect with rape culture, including gender, sexuality, race and class.

Currently our members are working in the following research areas:

  • Gender violence and the Bible
  • Representations of rape culture in popular culture
  • Gender, class and rape culture
  • Spiritualities and transphobia
  • Incest and Bible

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