Introducing the Women and Religion Review Series

By Rowlett, Lori | Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources, Winter 2003 | Go to article overview

Introducing the Women and Religion Review Series


Rowlett, Lori, Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources


As recently as ten years ago, when I mentioned religion and feminism together, people would ask, "Isn't that a contradiction in terms?" Suppressing a sigh, I would begin at the beginning with an explanation of how women bad begun to challenge their subordinate positions within various religious traditions. Today, such a large body of work has been produced on feminism and religion, I would hardly know where to begin. Women are transforming their traditions--or giving up on that and creating new ones.

When Phyllis Holman Weisbard and her co-editor JoAnne Lehman approached me with the idea of a book review series on women and religion, I recognized it as an idea whose time had arrived. While the problem a decade ago was a dearth of materials, the problem today is exactly the opposite: so many new and interesting books on women and religion are coming out every month, we had to come up with ways of grouping them into manageable categories.

We decided to begin at the most obvious starting point, with introductory textbooks and anthologies. A review of five such works, by theologian Charlene Burns, appears in this issue. Also in this issue we have included Deborah Louis's review of nineteenth-century feminist critiques of Christianity, equally germane to opening the dialogue since two of the books reviewed, Matilda Joslyn Gage's Woman, Church and State and Elizabeth Cady Stanton's The Woman's Bible, helped to set the parameters of debate regarding religion for first-wave American feminism. Louis's review also includes Kathi Kern's Mrs. Stanton's Bible, which concerns the same era and places some of the events in historical perspective.

We would like to follow these with reviews that cover the major religions of the world: Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and so on--by scholars with specialized knowledge of each field. We are actively seeking reviewers to rake up these topics.

In the Spring issue, Sara Meirowitz will review young women's stories of their religious or spiritual journeys to and from many of the major religions. The books under review include Bare Your Soul: The Thinking Girl's Guide to Enlightenment, a collection of essays from Seal Press, and Girl Meets God; On the Path to a Spiritual Life, by Lauren Winner. In the Summer issue, Alice Keefe will review several American Buddhist women's memoirs and "personal quest" stories.

Some topics, however, do nor fall so neatly into traditional categories. What about women's fight for ordination, for example? We debated whether to examine books on the issue within each separate religious tradition--Judaism, Catholicism, the African American Church, or whatever--or to group them together to highlight the cormmonalities of women's struggles across boundaries. We hope to engage a reviewer to do the latter.

Still other topics fall outside the world's established religions altogether. Feminist Collections did an issue many years ago that reviewed books on the feminist spirituality movement, with a focus on what is commonly called neopaganism. Beginning in the late 1 970s, many women, finding their own religions irredeemably filled with masculine imagery and resistant to change, followed Mary Daly's exodus out of the established religious institutions in search of a woman-centered spirituality and sought to create their own new religions. Although the Western religions banned goddesses as remnants of a degenerate polytheism, women began to find deities made in their own (female) image in mythology from around the world.

Male scholars had long considered the earth-centered polyrheisms of indigenous people to be an inferior primitive stage in the development of religion. Inevitably, they theorized, the superior and "sophisticated" monotheisms would replace the "savagery" of religions closely tied to nature and its processes. Feminist the-a-logians (replacing the male "the-o" with the feminine "a" ending) reversed the values of male theologians, arguing that the separation from nature fostered by Western modes of thought, including religious thought, has caused the environmental crisis in which we find ourselves today; and that the masculine model of domination and conquest of nature has to be reversed and replaced with a recognition that nature is not inert matter to be used, or used up. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Introducing the Women and Religion Review Series
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.