Women in Religion / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook


This latest book by notable scholar and author Mary Pat Fisher reflects the growing interest in women in religion. Every chapter begins with a brief history of a religious tradition and women's roles in the development of that religion, giving students historical context. Biographical feature boxes and interviews are peppered throughout each chapter to provide insight into the personal experiences of key figures and practitioners. Extracts from holy texts, diaries, and articles, together with shorter quotations woven throughout the text, support and illustrate the main text discussion and enable critical issues to be raised and considered. This accessible text makes women's religious experiences and actions come to life in all their richness and variety.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321194817
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 9/30/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

1: Women’s Religious Experiences.

What is religion?

Patriarchy in institutionalized religions.

Limits on women’s religious participation.

Women’s bodies.

Women’s non-institutional spiritual roles.

Feature interview: Rosemarie Eble, critical care nurse from Indianapolis , Roman Catholic Christian.

Women as mystics.

Women as ascetics.

Studying women in religion.

Are women different than men?

Concepts of the Divine.

Challenges to institutional restrictions.

Women and current issues.

Suggested reading.

2: Women in Indigenous Religions.

Overview of indigenous religions.

Gender balance.


Excerpt: At the Center of All is Woman — Paula Gunn Allen.

Women in mythology.

Shamanesses, priestesses, healers.

Interview: Maria Amanchina, Siberian Shaman.

Women’s rituals.

Female Circumcision.

Rites for first menstruation.

Reclaiming ancestral roots.

Healing the planet.

Interview: Luanna Ness: Healing a Bombed Hawaiian Island .

Suggested reading.

3: Hinduism.

Paths of Sanatana Dharma.

The changing role of women.

Worship of the Goddess.

Women as ascetics and bhaktis.

Biography: Akka Mahadevi.

Women’s rituals.

Excerpt: Women’s Auspicious Designs.

Spiritual music and dance.

Interview: Bharati Shivaji, Mohiniyattam Dancer and Teacher.

Female teachers.

Excerpt: The Awakening of Universal Motherhood by Sri Mata Amritanandamayi.

Women and communalism.

Women and social activism.

Suggested reading.

4: Buddhism.

Life and teachings of the Buddha.

Excerpt: Mindfullness and the End of Suffering — Maechee Pathomwan.

Creation of an order of nuns.

Women’s situation in the major forms of Buddhism.




Biography: Yeshe Tsogyel.

Feminist analysis of Buddhist concepts.

Contemporary status and ordination of nuns.

Contemporary women as Buddhist teachers.

Buddhist women as social activists.

Excerpt: Implications of Buddhism for Underprivileged Westerners — bell hook.

Suggested reading.

5: Taoism and Confucianism.

Ancient ways of Chinese religions.


Excerpt: Lessons for Women — Pan Chao.


Rebellion against Confucianism in modern China.

Confucianism outside the Republic of China.

Excerpt: Comfort Women of Asia — Chung Hyun Kyung.

The development of Daoism.

Feminine aspects of Daoism.

Female immortals and adepts.

Biography: Sun Bu-er, female adept.

Suggested reading.

6: Judaism.

Development of Judaism.

Women in the Hebrew Bible.

Excerpt: the story of Eve.

Excerpt: Esther the Queen.

Jewish laws concerning women.

Kabbala: the Shekhinah.

Women in Jewish history.

Biography: Gluckel of Hameln .

Feminist spirituality and theology.

Excerpt: Judith Plaskow from Standing Again at Sinai.

Feminist exegesis of sacred texts.

Gender-neutral liturgy.

Excerpt: A Women’s Seder Reading .

Women in contemporary Jewish congregations.

Interview: Gail Shulman.

Suggested reading.

7: Christianity.

Women’s place in Jesus’s times.

The radical gospel of equivalence.

Excerpt: Rosemary Radford Ruether.

Women disciples of Jesus.

Women in early Christian communities.

Post-Pauline subordination of women.

Saints and ascetics.

Biography: Julian of Norwich .

Excerpt: Teresa of Avila .

Women’s position in branches of the Church today.

Interview: Protestant minister from West Virginia .

Excerpt: In God’s Image, Asian Women’s Resource Centre.

Women as healers and social workers.

Biography: Dorothy Day.

Interview: Sister Lucy Poulin, HOME Co-op.

Interview: Peace and Church worker in Balkans.

Contemporary issues:

Religious limits on women’s reproductive choices.

Non-ordination of women as priests.

Virgin Mary as a role model.

Feminist theology.

Excerpt: Sallie McFague, Models of God.

Excerpt: Gender-neutral liturgy.

Suggested reading.

8: Islam.

Women’s position before the time of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Prophet Muhammad’s respect for women.

Biography: Khadija.

Seclusion and veiling of women as Islam developed.

Women as mystics.

Excerpt: Rabia’s poetry.

Interview: Abita Parveen, Pakistani Sufi singer.

Varying cultural settings of Islam today.

Contemporary cultural restrictions and Shariat.

Feminist interpretation of the Qur’an.

Excerpt: Amina Wadud: Qur’an and Women.

Social issues: Muslim feminist scholarship and activism.

Suggested reading.

9: Newer Religious Movements.


Biography: Mai Bhago.


Theosophical Society.

Biography: Madame Blavatsky.


Excerpt: Mama Lola: A Voodoo Priestess in Brooklyn .

Women-founded Japanese new religions.

Suggested reading.

10: Women beyond Religious Strictures.

Egalitarian religious movements.

Goddess-oriented spirituality.

Excerpt: Margot Adler.

Interfaith movement.

Interview: Sandy Miller, International Interfaith Centre.

Nature religion.

Excerpt: Eileen Caddy, Findhorn.

Global spirituality.

Excerpt: Peace Pilgrim.

Interview: Alison Davis, International Third Order.

Interview: Elinore Detiger, global catalyst.

Suggested reading.




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