In Their Own Right: The History of American Clergywomen

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9780824516536: In Their Own Right: The History of American Clergywomen
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This is the first across-the-board history of American clergywomen from the many faith communities, churches, and temples that populate the American religious landscape. The authors describe the painfully slow opening of the profession to women from colonial days, when itinerant Quaker women martyred themselves, to the end of the twentieth century, when women crowd seminary classrooms and challenge long-established traditions and practices. The authors also speculate about the possible future of clergywomen: How are feminism and womanism affecting them? The backlash from the religious right? The controversy over ordaining lesbians? The tensions in the Roman Catholic church and other denominations that deny women ordination?

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In this well-researched, comprehensive, and comparative treatment of clergywomen in America, the authors (Clio Companion to Women in the Workplace, LJ 3/1/94) cover many forms of Christianity and Judaism in a refreshingly broad scope, with useful comparisons and in-depth analysis. They begin with Quaker, Methodist, and Independent women in the late 17th century and bring their study up to Pope John Paul II's 1995 ban on the ordination of women. Throughout, they reveal progress and regression, paying careful attention to social motivators as well as reasons behind the actions and issues that continue to deter women. The Schneiders' informed predictions on the future of clergywomen offers a measure of hope, and they helpfully reveal ways in which women clergy are changing religion, its language and imagery, and its paternalism. An excellent and timely study; highly recommended for all libraries.?Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood Coll., Farmville, Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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