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Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making a Sanctified World
     

Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making a Sanctified World

by Anthea D. Butler
 

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The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), an African American Pentecostal denomination founded in 1896, has become the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States today. In this first major study of the church, Anthea Butler examines the religious and social lives of the women in the COGIC Women's Department from its founding in 1911 through the mid-1960s. She

Overview

The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), an African American Pentecostal denomination founded in 1896, has become the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States today. In this first major study of the church, Anthea Butler examines the religious and social lives of the women in the COGIC Women's Department from its founding in 1911 through the mid-1960s. She finds that the sanctification, or spiritual purity, that these women sought earned them social power both in the church and in the black community.

Offering rich, lively accounts of the activities of the Women's Department founders and other members, Butler shows that the COGIC women of the early decades were able to challenge gender roles and to transcend the limited responsibilities that otherwise would have been assigned to them both by churchmen and by white-dominated society. The Great Depression, World War II, and the civil rights movement brought increased social and political involvement, and the Women's Department worked to make the "sanctified world" of the church interact with the broader American society. More than just a community of church mothers, says Butler, COGIC women utilized their spiritual authority, power, and agency to further their contestation and negotiation of gender roles in the church and beyond.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Butler's enlightening narrative of [black 'church mothers'] deserves wide reading.--Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Butler narrates a complex story . . . with economy and focus. . . . [She] commands her subject.--Journal of American History

Recommended.--CHOICE

Butler's book is an indispensable read. . . .[A] well-written and closely argued volume.--Florida Historical Quarterly

A creative denominational history skillfully framed in the context of African American religious and social history. . . . A welcomed addition to the growing literature on African American Pentecostal traditions, and it promises to be a staple for years to come.--Journal of Southern History

Expertly presents the tales of these leaders. . . . Rich in scholarly detail, yet accessible to a wide audience, Butler's book refines and furthers not one, but many pertinent discussions surrounding the various groups in this admirable study.--H-Net

Probing, insightful, and highly informative, and provides multifaceted portrayals of the roles and perspectives of COGIC women. . . . An excellent scholarly resource, and will likely serve as the foundation for a number of other related studies.--Pneuma

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807882900
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
01/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
File size:
2 MB

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
With this book Anthea Butler has made a major contribution to our understanding of the history of Pentecostalism and to the religious history of African American women. This is a pathbreaking work.--Albert Raboteau, author of Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South

Meet the Author

Anthea D. Butler is associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

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