Re-Imagining Collection, 1993-2023

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Jordon, Sherry E. (Sherry Elaine), Sauter, Mary Kay, and Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture
Re-Imagining was an ecumenical, radical, Christian movement focused on creating ways of understanding Womanist, Feminist, Mujerista, and Asian Feminist theologies, and opening spaces for dialogue with the church, diverse religious communities, and the world. Eighty-two audio files comprise an oral history project by Sherry E. Jordon with 70 participants in the Re-Imagining conferences, including the first gathering in 1993, Re-Imagining: A Global Theological Conference By Women: For Men and Women. Additionally, 127 mp3 files and 79 audiocassettes comprising Re-Imagining conference sessions and rituals from gatherings in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2003, as well as papers documenting the organization's work, including Jordan and Mary Kay Sauter's administration files.
7 Linear Feet (Three boxes of AV materials, three boxes of papers and one over-sized box of objects.)
7.9 Gigabytes (MP3 audio files, electronic text files, still image files, multimedia files, and graphic design files.)
Materials in English
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

This collection documents the work of the Re-Imagining community. Hosted to discuss the World Council of Churches report "Ecumnical Decade: Churches in solidarity with Women" the organizers drew over 2,000 people to Minneapolis, Minnesota in November 1993.

In 2016, Sherry E. Jordon conducted oral history interviews with 72 participants of the original Re-Imagining gathering in 1993. These oral histories and first set of administration files were added to the collection in 2017.

In 2023, Re-Imagining was dissolved and remaining files pertaining to the organization were added to the collection (Accession 2023-0231). These files include images, plans for gatherings throughout the 2010s, newsletters ad meeting invitations, as well as press about Re-Imagining. These files are paper mateirals and digital materials. Digital audio of the 1998, 2000 and 2000 gatherings are also included.

Ths collection is organized in to four series: Oral History Interviews, Re-Imagining Conferences, Administrative Files and Mary Kay Sauter's Files.

The Oral History series contains 70 oral histories, many of which are available digitially. Oral history speakers and interviewees include Martha O. Adams, Jann Aldredge-Clanton, Gail Allan, Elizabeth Andrew, Diana Butler Bass, Mary Farrell Bednarowski, Elizabeth Bettenhausen, Nadean Bishop, Kathy Black, Donna Blackstock, Steven Blons, Robert Brinkley, Rita Nakashima Brock, John M. Buchanan, Nancy Chinn, Faye Christensen, Hyun Kyung Chung, Susan Cole, J. Ann Craig, Susan Halcomb Craig, Kathy Deacon-Weber, Sister Holy Spirit DeSouza, Heather Murray Elkins, Sara M. Evans, Marylee Fithian, Mary Gates, Marchelle Hallman, Susan Hames, Robin Henry, Maren Hinderlie, José Hobday, Mary E. Hunt, Pamela Carter Joern, Sally Howell Johnson, Katie Johnson, Barbara Anne Keely, Betty Kersting, Judith Allen Kim, Annie Wu King, Rebecca Lynn Kiser, Mary Kuhns, Pui-lan Kwok, Barbara Lund, Barbara K. Lundblad, Mary Ann Weese Lundy, Katherine Austin Mahle, Eily Marlow, Joan M. Martin, Mary Kaye Medinger, Joyce Ann Mercer, Virginia R. Mollenkott, Melanie S. Morrison, Susan Morrison, Mary Clark Moschella, Vivian Jenkins Nelsen, Randy Nelson, Christie Neuger, John Niles, Manley Olson, Ofelia Ortega, Doris Pagelkopf, Rebecca Todd Peters, Virginia Pharr, Joy Mincey Powell, Mary Preus, Anne Primavesi, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Jo Ringgenberg, Mary Kay Sauter, Jeanyne B. Slettom, Jerie Smith, Joyce D. Sohl, Hilda Spann, Allison Stokes, John Strausz-Clement, Judith Strausz-Clement, Sue Swanson, Hal Taussig, Margaret Thomas, Rebecca Tollefson, Carmen Valenzuela, Johanna W.H. Van Wijk-Bos, Emily Wigger, Delores S. Williams, Eugenia Williams, Lois Wilson, and Miriam Therese Winter.

Re-Imagining Conferences are digital and cassette recordings of the 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2003 meetings. These files include recordings of the rituals used in the meetings, talks given by invited speakers, morning announcments and music used during the gathering.

Administrative Files were recieved in 2016 and 2023. These files are physical and digital files, and include conference files, press clippings, print materials, planning documents, materials from the second iteration of Re-Imagining (2013-2023) such as board meetings, planning notes, materials related to 25th anniversary events in 2018, newsletters, and correspondence related to the group's legacy planning and dissolution in 2023. These files also contain objects such pens, buttons, tote bags and t-shirts.

Mary Kay Sauter's files date from 1989 to 2003 and document the first iteration of Re-Imagining. These files include newsletters, correspondence, photographs, event planning and materials from the 1993 conference. Mary Kay Sauter's files were recieved in a box labled as such.

Biographical / historical:

Re-Imagining: A Global Theological Conference By Women: For Men and Women, was organized by Mary Ann Lundy (Director of the Presbyterian Church USA's Women's Unit), Sally Hill, Mary Kay Sauter and other mainline protestant leaders in the United States, to be part of the World Council of Churches' Ecumenical Decade: Churches in Solidarity with Women 1988–1998. The 2,200 attendees, met at the Minneapolis Convention Center on November 4 to 7, 1993, participating in presentations and rituals re-imagining male-centric images and language of traditional Christianity.

The Re-Imagining conference sparked backlash from church leaders and feminist theology became a national conversation. In response to this backlash, organizers founded the Re-Imagining Community, which organized conferences to continue the work of the original conference, as well as furthered feminist theology and liturgy. This group was active from 1994 until 2003.

In 2013, organizers Nadean Bishop and Mary Kay Sauter organized a 20th anniversary celebration of the 1993 conference. After the gathering, participants re-established Re-Imagining Community as a 501(c)3 non-profit, with a focus on preserving the group's history and legacy.

In 2016, Sherry Jordan conducted sixty-five oral history interviews with members of the Re=Imagining Community.

In 2018, Re-Imagining Community held eight events in partnership with six organizations in Minnesota to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1993 conference.

In 2023, Re-Imagining Community held a 30th Anniversary event and disbanded as a non-profit.

Dr. Sherry Jordon was awarded her Ph.D in Theology from Yale in 1995 and is a Professor Emeritus of Theology at the University of St. Thomas. She specializes in historical theology, particularly the Reformation period, and Women's Studies. Jordon served on the Coordinating Council of the Re-Imagining Community from 1998-2003, spoke at the 2003 Re-Imagining Gathering, and wrote an essay on feminist theology for Bless Sophia: Worship, Liturgy, and Ritual of the Re-Imagining Community. As part of her current research on the history and theology of Re-Imagining, she completed sixty-five oral interviews with members of the Re-Imagining Community, leading feminist and womanist theologians who presented at the conferences, people who were on the national staff of the women's units in the Presbyterian (USA) and United Methodist churches, and authors who have written books related to Christian feminism and/or Re-Imagining.

Mary Kay Sauter was an original organizer of the 1993 Re-Imagining gathering. She is a retired United Church of Christ pastor.

Acquisition information:
The Re-Imagining Collection was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift in 2016 and 2023.
Processing information:

Processed by Craig Breaden, April, 2017 and Colette Harley, May, 2024.

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2016-0317 and 2023-0231


Oral histories arranged alphabetically. Administrative files are organized chronologically, and digital files were organized by topic and date.

Additional paper administration files are interfiled with previously recieved administrative files by date.

Mary Kay Sauter's files were maintained in the order they were recieved.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.

Feminist theology
Re-Imagining Conference (1993 : Minneapolis, Minn.)
Ecumenical Decade of the Churches in Solidarity with Women (Program)
Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture
Andrew, Elizabeth, 1969-
Bass, Diana Butler, 1959-
Bednarowski, Mary Farrell
Bettenhausen, Elizabeth
Bishop, Nadean
Black, Kathy, 1956-
Blackstock, Donna, 1942-
Blons, Steven
Brinkley, Robert
Brock, Rita Nakashima
Buchanan, John M., 1938-
Chinn, Nancy, 1940-
Christensen, Faye, 1944-
Chung, Hyun Kyung
Cole, Susan, 1945-
Craig, J. Ann
Craig, Susan Halcomb, 1941-
Deacon-Weber, Kathy, 1954-
DeSouza, Sister Holy Spirit
Elkins, Heather Murray
Evans, Sara M. (Sara Margaret), 1943-
Fithian, Marylee, 1936-
Gates, Mary, 1934-
Hallman, Marchelle
Hames, Susan, 1944-
Henry, Robin, 1952-
Hinderlie, Maren
Hobday, José
Hunt, Mary E., 1951-
Joern, Pamela Carter, 1948-
Johnson, Katie
Johnson, Sally Howell
Keely, Barbara Anne, 1952-
Kersting, Betty, 1936-
Kim, Judith Allen, 1946-
King, Annie Wu, 1933-
Kiser, Rebecca Lynn, 1954-
Kuhns, Mary, 1945-
Kwok, Pui-lan
Lund, Barbara, 1964-
Lundblad, Barbara K., 1944-
Lundy, Mary Ann Weese, 1933-
Mahle, Katherine Austin, 1945-
Marlow, Eily, 1975-
Martin, Joan M. (Joan Marie)
Medinger, Mary Kaye, 1946-
Mercer, Joyce Ann, 1957-
Mollenkott, Virginia R.
Morrison, Susan, 1943-
Moschella, Mary Clark
Nelsen, Vivian Jenkins
Nelson, Randy, 1941-
Niles, John, 1945-
Olson, Manley, 1936-
Pagelkopf, Doris, 1938-
Peters, Rebecca Todd
Pharr, Virginia
Powell, Joy Mincey
Preus, Mary
Primavesi, Anne, 1934-
Reagon, Bernice Johnson, 1942-
Ringgenberg, Jo
Slettom, Jeanyne B.
Smith, Jerie
Sohl, Joyce D.
Stokes, Allison, 1942-
Strausz-Clement, John
Strausz-Clement, Judith
Swanson, Sue
Taussig, Hal
Thomas, Margaret
Tollefson, Rebecca
Valenzuela, Carmen
Van Wijk-Bos, Johanna W. H., 1940-
Wigger, Emily
Williams, Delores S.
Williams, Eugenia
Winter, Miriam Therese
Spann, Hilda
Ortega, Ofelia
Morrison, Melanie, 1949-
Adams, Martha O.
Aldredge-Clanton, Jann, 1946-
Allan, Gail, 1954-
Neuger, Christine Cozad, 1952-
Wilson, Lois


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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Re-Imagining Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.