Women and American Religion
An old African-American churchgoers' saying rings true for most religious denominations in the United States: Women are the backbone of the church. For centuries, women have been the majority of members in almost all religious groups. They provide essential financial and social support and work tirelessly in the background of all church-based activities. Yet it is largely men who occupy the high rungs of church hierarchy, and they are the ones who get most of the credit. Ann Braude examines the important role of women in American religious history, focusing on their recent admission to public religious leadership and their fight for equal rights and recognition through the centuries. Both noted and little known women--such as Margaret Winthrop, Jarena Lee, Mary Baker Eddy, Henrietta Szold, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Mary Daly--spring to life in the pages of this thorough, passionate book.
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Just as the biblical story of Adam and Eve served as a source of Christian ideas
about male and female roles , each American Indian nation looked to its own
origin story for ideals of feminine character and family relations . Female figures
Thus revivals marked an increase in the proportion of male church members .
This increase , however , seems to indicate an increase in women ' s influence
over male family members rather than a decline in women ' s religious role .
In most parts of Asia , local customs denied male missionaries access to women .
Only female missionaries could enter the quarters of upper - class women in
India , China , or Turkey . American women were horrified by stories of foot -
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WOMEN IN AMERICAN RELIGIONUser Review - Kirkus
A brisk, informative history of the myriad roles women have played in America's religious history. Braude (Harvard Divinity School) has difficult tasks in this slim, generously illustrated volume: to ... Read full review