ISBN-10:
0253221161
ISBN-13:
9780253221162
Pub. Date:
09/01/2009
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Queer Women and Religious Individualism

Queer Women and Religious Individualism

by Melissa M. WilcoxMelissa M. Wilcox
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Overview

Melissa M. Wilcox explores the complex spiritual lives of queer women in the Los Angeles area. She takes the reader on a tour of a colorful array of religious and secular groups that serve as spiritual resources for these women—from the well-known Metropolitan Community Churches to Wiccan covens, from the Gay and Lesbian Sierrans to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Arguing that these women's stories are exemplary cases of postmodern patterns of religious identity, belief, and practice, Wilcox offers a nuanced analysis of contemporary Western spirituality and selfhood, and a detailed exploration of the history of queer religious organizing in Los Angeles. Queer Women and Religious Individualism is important reading for scholars in religious studies, sociology, women's studies, and LGBT studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253221162
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 693,143
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Melissa M. Wilcox is Associate Professor of Religion and Gender Studies at Whitman College and author of Coming Out in Christianity: Religion, Identity, and Community (IUP, 2003) and editor (with David Wayne Machacek) of Sexuality and the World's Religions.

Table of Contents

ContentsAcknowledgmentsMap of Los Angeles

1. Beyond the Congregation2. Setting the Stage: Historical Contexts3. Queering the Spiritual Marketplace4. Negotiating Religion: Continuity, Conversion, Innovation5. Tiles in the Mosaic: Organizations as Resources6. Building a Mosaic: The Sacred (and the) Self7. Queer Women, Religion, and Postmodernity

Appendix A. Biographical Summaries Appendix B. Methods and Methodological ConsiderationsAppendix C. Interview SchedulesNotesSelected BibliographyIndex

What People are Saying About This

"Wilcox (Whitman College) has crafted a remarkably fine study in the sociology of religion that she developed from a base of only 29 LBT core interview subjects. Here she proves herself the equal of Robert Bellah et al., in their landmark community studies Habits of the Heart (1985) and The Good Society (CH, Mar'92, 29-4200), by combining the skills of an adept urban historian, social geographer, gender philosopher, and empathetic observer. The resulting book integrates her interview data into a broader base that enables her to move beyond the responses of interviewees and boundaries of institutional religion into a close description of contemporary styles of spiritual seeking and alternative strategies of human identity formation. Wilcox's insights extend to the dilemmas faced by a large cross-section of 21st-century American citizens so that her study makes good on the two key phrases in her title. It is about religious individualism as well as queer women. She earlier published Coming Out in Christianity: Religion, Identity, and Community (CH, Jun'04, 41-5867) and coedited, with D. R. Machacek, Sexuality and the World's Religions (CH, Apr'04, 41-4608). Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. — Choice"

Cabrini College - Leonard Primiano

Original research into areas that have not been much investigated or written about. . . . A rather masterful user of [theory], Wilcox is especially interested in taking the idea of 'intersectionality' . . . and using it as a theoretical reminder that one must represent women in their clearest life contexts of race, gender, community, economics, physical and emotional resources, etc., as well as the individual power they muster to create their own religious lives.

G. R. Thursby

Wilcox (Whitman College) has crafted a remarkably fine study in the sociology of religion that she developed from a base of only 29 LBT core interview subjects. Here she proves herself the equal of Robert Bellah et al., in their landmark community studies Habits of the Heart (1985) and The Good Society (CH, Mar'92, 29-4200), by combining the skills of an adept urban historian, social geographer, gender philosopher, and empathetic observer. The resulting book integrates her interview data into a broader base that enables her to move beyond the responses of interviewees and boundaries of institutional religion into a close description of contemporary styles of spiritual seeking and alternative strategies of human identity formation. Wilcox's insights extend to the dilemmas faced by a large cross-section of 21st-century American citizens so that her study makes good on the two key phrases in her title. It is about religious individualism as well as queer women. She earlier published Coming Out in Christianity: Religion, Identity, and Community (CH, Jun'04, 41-5867) and coedited, with D. R. Machacek, Sexuality and the World's Religions (CH, Apr'04, 41-4608). Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. — Choice

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