Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Freedom Is a Dream. A Documentary History of Women in the Episcopal Church

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Freedom Is a Dream. A Documentary History of Women in the Episcopal Church

Article excerpt

SHERYL A. KUJAWA-HOLBROOK, ED. Freedom is a Dream. A Documentary History of Women in the Episcopal Church. New York, New York: Church Publishing Incorporated, 2002. Pp. xv + 319, introduction, bibliography. $23.95 (paper).

Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook's document collection fills a gap in materials available for those wanting a quick introduction to the history of women in the Episcopal Church. The focus is on forty-three individual women who wrote about their faith, expressed their faith through service to the church or community, or were famous for other reasons. The author provides a brief introductory essay on each woman followed by a 3-15 page excerpt from the woman's published writings. The selections appear in the collection based on the woman's date of birth and focus, with no real attempt to include the voices of women from the colonial period Anglican church.

The book succeeds in introducing readers to a variety of interesting and engaging women. It should also encourage many readers to explore the longer works from which the selections were drawn. It successfully represents the diversity of the Episcopal Church, including eight selections by African-American women, two by Hispanics, two by Asian/Pacific Islanders, and one by a Native American. In several others white women write about missions among people of color. The selections include delicious moments: Amelia Bloomer reinterpreting Genesis, Lucy Breckinridge critiquing an inept parson, Louise DeKoven Bowen taming a Sunday school class filled with unruly teenage boys, a bishop's wife finding justice in the fact that the town's tavern burned down just a few days after her husband's church. …

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