(Posted March 26, 2012)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Virginia Ramey Mollencott, an author, academic and an activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, will hold two workshops at Juniata College on April 2.

The first workshop, "When the Bible Speaks of Homosexuality, Why do People Hear Different Things," will be held at 1 p.m., Monday, April 2 in the Sill Boardroom in the von Liebig Center for Science. This workshop is open for Juniata employees.

The second workshop, titled, "Greeting Hostile Discrimination with Compassionate Communication: Queer Spirituality" will take place at 7 p.m., April 2, also in Sill Boardroom.

The second workshop is free and open to the public.

Mollencott is a pioneer of Biblical feminism and queer theology who started her academic career as a scholar of English literature and language. During the 1970s, she decided to specialize in feminist theology and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender theology and began to write and lecture on those issues.

She is the co-author of "Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? A Positive Christian Response" and wrote "The Divine Feminine: Biblical Imagery of God as Female," "Sensuous Spirituality: Out from Fundamentalism" and "Omnigender: A Trans-Religious Approach." In all she has written 14 books, and numerous articles.

She is a professor emeritus of English at William Paterson University of New Jersey in Wayne, N.J., and taught at the university from 1967 until retiring in 1997. She also taught at Shelton College and Nyack College.

In 1992 she received the New Jersey Gay and Lesbian Achievement Award and in 1999 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from SAGE (Senior Action in a Gay Environment). She also is an active and founding member of the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women's Caucus.

She earned a bachelor's degree in 1953 from Bob Jones University. She went on to earn a master's degree in 1955 from Temple University and a doctoral degree in 1964 from New York University. She also received an honorary degree from Samaritan College in 1989.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.