And Your Daughters Shall Prophesy: Stories From the Byways of American Women and Religion

And Your Daughters Shall Prophesy: Stories From the Byways of American Women and Religion

by Adrian Shirk


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And Your Daughters Shall Prophesy: Stories From the Byways of American Women and Religion by Adrian Shirk

An NPR Best Book of 2017

"The book doubles as a catalogue of America’s 'divergent prophetesses' such as Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, the astrologer Linda Goodman, and the silver-tongued evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, who faked her own kidnapping to spend five weeks with her lover. These accounts are brief, vivid portraits of women in the 'spiritual avant-garde' . . . and [Shirk's] wide-ranging curiosity delights." — The New Yorker

And Your Daughters Shall Prophesy is a powerful, personal exploration of American women and their theologies, weaving connections between Adrian Shirk's own varied spiritual experiences and the prophetesses, feminists, and spiritual icons who have shaped this country.

Laced throughout this hybrid memoir are stories of American religious traditions revised by women. Shirk collects the histories of astrologers, faith healers, preachers, priestesses, mambos, and mediums who've had to find their own ways toward divinity outside prescribed patriarchal orders. Each woman represents a pathway for Shirk's own spiritual inquiries. She introduces us to the New Orleans high priestess Marie Laveau, the pop New Age pioneer Linda Goodman, the prophetic vision of intersectionality as preached by Sojourner Truth, "saint" Flannery O'Connor, and so many more.

Through her journey, Shirk discovers that, as the culture wars flatten religious discourse and shred institutional trust, more and more Americans are yearning for alternative, individualized, feminist routes through religion. And women, having spent so much time at the margins of religious discourse, illuminate its darkened corners.

And Your Daughters Shall Prophesy is a beacon to those who are searching for a spirituality of resistance, for an unsteady truth. It draws a line from our own era of unrest to the women who came before us, those fascinating innovators, boundary crossers, paradoxes, and radical justice seekers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640091016
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 08/14/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 906,016
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

ADRIAN SHIRK was raised in Portland, Oregon, and has since lived in New York and Wyoming. She's a columnist at Catapult , and her essays have appeared in The Atlantic and other publications. She has produced radio stories for Wyoming Public Media and Pop Up Archive, and she holds an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Currently, she teaches women's studies and creative writing at Pratt Institute. She lives on the border of the Bronx and Yonkers with her husband, Christopher Sweeney, and Quentin the cat.

Table of Contents

A Declaration of Sentiments ix

We Are All Scientists Mary Baker Eddy 3

Our Bodies, Our Smoke: The Moon Lodge 23

The Laughing Virgin Flannery O'Connor 42

Dear Linda Linda Goodman 61

Who Wanders Unencumbered Aunt Robin 76

Meet Me in Lily Dale: The Fox Sisters 92

True Facts Told by Her Aimee Semple McPherson 112

Heavenly Mother Will Believe You Eliza Snow 135

This Building Is Yours: The Takeover 157

The Blackout 169

The Prodigal Son

Shadow and Substance Sojourner Truth 188

Witchery Marie Laveau 210

Sanctuaries: The yuwipi 237

Coda 259

Acknowledgments 265

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