1st Edition

Female Faith Practices Qualitative Research Perspectives

    This book explores female faith practices, drawing on qualitative research to consider how women navigate and create spiritual and religious practices.

    The chapters cover Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist contexts as well as newer spiritual movements. The contributors examine prayer and ritual practices and familial, educational and ritual spaces and relationships in a variety of cultural settings. The volume reflects on the ways in which women subvert traditional or patriarchal religious practices and spaces, both problematising and expanding existing notions of ‘religious practice’. It also touches on research itself as a form of spiritual and academic practice, considering ways in which women challenge androcentric modes of research as well as ways in which the subject of research – in this case, female faith – may challenge the researcher’s convictions and practice.

    Blending case studies with empirical research, this book will be an outstanding resource to theologians and researchers interested in Practical Theology, Gender Studies, Sociology of Religion and Anthropology.


    Nicola Slee, Dawn Llewellyn, Lindsey Taylor-Gutharz, and Kim Wasey

    Part I: Reflexivity and Research

    1. Inhabiting the Role: A Retrospective Reflexive Review from a Viewpoint of Lived Experience

    Grace Thomas

    2. Women and the Church: Challenges in Researching Women’s Religiosity in Poland

    Anna Szwed

    3. Diving in: Research as a Journey Towards Transformation

    Clare Herbert

    Part II: Space and Identity

    4. Off-roading: How Do Women Navigate the Journey Towards a Healthy Sexuality After Choosing to Leave Evangelical Purity Culture?

    Lindsay Stewart

    5. Exploring Expressions of Femininity Through the Reported Rituals and Practices of the Red Tent

    Madeleine Castro

    6. Autoethnographic Perspectives on Muslim Women’s Lives Online

    Renasha Khan

    Part III: Food and Fabric

    7. Transmission, Mimesis, and Gender: Jewish Women’s Kashrut Practices

    Lindsey Taylor-Gutharz

    8. Negotiating Christening: Mothers, Family and ‘Folk Religion’

    Allison Fenton

    9. Crafting Identity: The Spiritual Formation of Women in Prayer Shawl Ministries

    Donna Bowman

    Part IV: Families and Formation

    10. Mothers in Newfrontiers: Charismatic spirituality, Motherhood and the Christian Tradition

    Claire Williams

    11.‘She Taught Me How to Do It Properly’: Religious Practices in Muslim Sister Relationships

    Sonya Sharma

    Part V: Women’s Work

    12. Does Religious Practice Increase Levels of Economic Inactivity Among British Muslim Women? A Mixed Methods Examination

    Asma Khan

    13. Apostolic till the Very End: The Contribution of Older Roman Catholic Sisters’ Experience of Ageing to the Evolving Identity of Women’s Religious Life

    Catherine Sexton

    14. Looking Back on a Life of Faith: Qualitative Empirical Research with Belgian Missionary Sisters

    Jane McBride with Annemie Dillen.




    Nicola Slee is Research Professor at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham, UK, and Professor of Feminist Practical Theology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 

    Dawn Llewellyn is Associate Professor in Religion and Gender at the University of Chester, UK.

    Kim Wasey is Principal of Open College at the Luther King Centre for Theology and Ministry in Manchester, UK.

    Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Manchester, UK, and a Research Fellow at the London School of Jewish Studies.