Religion in a Changing World: Comparative Studies in Sociology

By Madeleine Cousineau | Go to book overview

presented by abused women and their children outweigh professional loyalties and ideological positions. In an age of fiscal restraint and shrinking public budgets, it is in everyone's best interests to attempt to build bridges between groups committed to a common cause.


CONCLUDING COMMENTS

In this chapter we have considered ways in which conservative Protestants have accommodated the reality of wife abuse within their ideology of the family. Evangelical women respond to victims of battery by offering practical, emotional, and spiritual assistance. They support the transition house movement through tangible means that could be regarded as bridge building, attempting to narrow the chasm between religious caregivers and those employed by community agencies. The magnitude of the problem of wife abuse in Canada, as elsewhere, means that all institutions--religious and secular in nature--need to work together to respond to the needs of victims and to promote violence-free family relationships.


NOTES

I would like to acknowledge financial support from the following sources: the Louisville Institute for the Study of Protestantism and American Culture, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Department of the Solicitor General, the Lawson Foundation, the Constant Jacquet Research Award of the Religious Research Association, the Department of the Secretary of State of the Government of Canada, the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Center for Family Violence Research, and the University of New Brunswick Research Fund.

1.
The Religion and Violence Research Team is affiliated with the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Center for Family Violence Research at the University of New Brunswick. The research team, which is multidisciplinary, is coordinated by Nancy Nason-Clark; other members include Lori Beaman, Lois Mitchell, Sheila McCrea, Terry Atkinson, and Christy Hoyt, plus several graduate student assistants. Collaborative research projects are now underway with the United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces, the Atlantic District of the Wesleyan Church, the Maritime Conference of the United Church, the Maritime Division of the Salvation Army, and the Anglican Church (Province of New Brunswick). Analyses of some of the data reported in this chapter have previously appeared in Beaman-Hall and Nason-Clark 1997a and 1997b and in Nason-Clark 1995, 1996, and 1997.
2.
Our discussion here is built upon data collected from United Baptist and Wesleyan (or holiness) churches.
3.
Atlantic Canada includes the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland.

REFERENCES

Beaman-Hall Lori, and Nancy Nason-Clark. 1997a. "Partners or Protagonists? The Transition House Movement and Conservative Churches." Affilia 12(2):176-196.

-----. 1997b. "Translating Spiritual Commitment Into Service: The Response of Evangelical Women to Wife Abuse." Canadian Woman Studies 17(1):58-61.

Brown Joanne, and Carole Bohn (eds.). 1989. Christianity, Patriarchy and Abuse: A Feminist Critique. Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press.

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