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All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality
     

All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality

by Wendy Reed (Editor), Jennifer Horne (Editor), Sue Monk Kidd (Contribution by), Jeanie Thompson (Contribution by), Jan Willis (Contribution by)
 

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H. L. Mencken first identified the South as the “Bible Belt” in the 1920s. To be sure, religion shapes and defines even those Southerners who don’t think of themselves as particularly religious. Practically no one who grows up Southern can escape being shaped, stimulated, harmed, or informed by religion and spirituality.

Overview

  
H. L. Mencken first identified the South as the “Bible Belt” in the 1920s. To be sure, religion shapes and defines even those Southerners who don’t think of themselves as particularly religious. Practically no one who grows up Southern can escape being shaped, stimulated, harmed, or informed by religion and spirituality.
 
All Out of Faith gives voice to southern women writers who represent a broad spectrum of faiths, Catholic to Baptist, Jewish to Buddhist, and points in between. These essays and stories revea; that southern culture has always reserved a special place for strong women of passion.
 
Frances Mayes and Barbara Kingsolver investigate the importance of place. Dorothy Allison, among others, writes of the transformative power of art; in her case, of a painting of Jesus she loved as a child. Lee Smith is one of several women who write of religious fervor; she recalls the excitement of being saved, not once but many times, until her parents made her stop. Vicki Covington and Mab Segrest describe their conflicts between faith and sexuality. Pauli Murray, the first black female Episcopal priest, and Jessica Roskin, who became a Jewish cantor, tell of remaining within their original religious tradition while challenging their traditional roles.
 
Contributors: Shirley Abbott, Dorothy Allison, Vicki Covington, Susan Ktchin, Sue Monk Kidd, Cassandra King, Barbara Kingsolver, Frances Mayes, Diane McWhorter, Pauli Murray, Sena Jeter Naslund, Sylvia Rhue, Jessica Roskin, Mab Segrest, Lee Smith, Jeanie Thompson, Jan Willis.
 
 

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
All Out of Faith is about going away from God and coming back again, birth and death, renewal. This is a wonderful collection of stories about faith and love. I thought that I could pick out my favorite, but I couldn’t put one before another.”—Barbara Robinette Moss, author of Fierce and Change Me Into Zeus’s Daughter

"Accepting that 'every Southerner has been shaped by religion in some form or fashion,' Reed and Horne have assembled 16 reflections that allow very personal glimpses of the many types of spiritual 'shaping' women have embraced and/or endured. The first piece—'That Old-Time Religion,' by Arkansas memoirist Shirley Abbott—sets a high standard as it plunges the reader into a vivid and saucy vision of Abbott's youthful 'born again' Baptist experiences. Other contributors include a preacher's wife; a woman who, as a girl, witnessed Birmingham's 1960's anti-segregation movements; a Baptist-Buddhist professor; the first black female Episcopalian priest; closeted and uncloseted lesbians; and a Jewish cantor. The range of experience is intriguing. Among the better-known contributors are Barbara Kingsolver, Lee Smith, Frances Mayes, and Dorothy Allison. The collection's ambiguous title recognizes the fact that the stories illustrate women becoming devoid of faith as well as women constructing meaningful lives because of faith. This accessible book will be especially useful for those interested in religious studies and women's studies. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers; all levels."
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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780817354800
Publisher:
University of Alabama Press
Publication date:
06/28/2007
Series:
Fire Ant Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
1,248,916
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Reed is Producer-Director at The University of Alabama Center for Public Television.
 
Jennifer Horne is the editor of Working the Dirt: An Anthology of Southern Poets and the poetry book-review editor for First Draft, the journal of the Alabama Writers Forum.

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