Episcopal Women: Gender, Spirituality, and Commitment in an American Mainline Denomination / Edition 1by Catherine M. Prelinger
Pub. Date: 04/28/1996
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Episcopal Women is an unprecedented exploration of the historical and present "lived experience" of women in one mainline-Protestant American church. It probes the realities of women who count themselves members of a contemporary Protestant church - one that is changing, though not as rapidly as the world in which it is set. As women become increasingly visible in religious organizations previously administered entirely by men, congregations, church agencies, educational institutions, and volunteer organizations are all being affected by the "gender shift". Focused on the Episcopal church as a representative case study, these essays offer a careful historical and sociological examination of the impact of these gender changes. Personal narratives are combined with intergenerational studies of women in several congregations to illustrate how women - always the majority in Sunday morning congregations - continue to find and create their own spiritual realities within a traditional institution. The authors highlight the centrality of women in today's church from a variety of perspectives - feminist, historical, biographical, and theoretical. Included are essays on Episcopal women's theology and spirituality, women as mainstays of the urban church, aging as a metaphor for the institutional church, women's organizations, the impact of women in the clerical profession, and black women's experience in the Episcopal Church. Challenging the church's dominantly masculine self-image, this book presents a convincing view of today's religious reality for women in a mainline church.
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