Religious and spiritual engagement has undergone multiple significant changes in recent decades. Researching Female Faith is a collection of essays based on recent and original field research conducted by the contributors, and informed by a variety of theoretical perspectives, into the faith lives of women and girls – broadly from within a Christian context.
Essays describe and recount original qualitative research that identifies, illuminates and enhances our understanding of key aspects of women’s and girls’ faith lives. Offered as a contribution to feminist practical and pastoral theology, the essays arise out of and feed back into a range of mainly UK pastoral and practical contexts. While the essays in this volume will contribute to an enhanced appreciation and analysis of female faith, the core focus is on feminist qualitative research methods and methodology. Thus, they demystify and illuminate the process of research, including features of research which are frequently under-examined.
The book is a first in bringing together a specific focus on feminist qualitative research methodology with the study of female faith lives. It will therefore be of great interest to students, academics and practitioners with interests in faith and gender in theology, religious studies and sociology.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Part I: Developing Feminist Methodologies; 1 ‘Come as a Girl’: Exploring Issues of Participative Methodology for Research into the Spiritual Lives and Faith of Girls-Becoming-Women, Anne Phillips; 2 Poetry as Feminist Research Methodology in the Study of Female Faith, Nicola Slee; 3 Weaving a Web: Developing a Feminist Practical Theology Methodology from a Charismatic Perspective, Helen Collins; 4 Living Religion: Collapsing (Male Constructed?) Boundaries between the Religious and the Spiritual, Janet Eccles; Part II: Gathering Data; 5‘Sometimes You Need a Question’: Structure and Flexibility in Feminist Interviewing, Fran Porter; 6 Exploring Young Adults’ Faith Lives through Video Diaries: Consent, Voice and Power, Sarah-Jane Page; 7 Using Social Media for Feminist Qualitative Research: A Pilot Study into Women’s Experiences of Holy Communion, Kim Wasey; 8 Choosing the Right Key: Glaserian Grounded Theory, NVivo and Analysing Interviews with Survivors, Susan Shooter; Part III: Analysing Data; 9 Listening for the ‘I’: Adapting a Voice-Centred, Relational Method of Data Analysis in a Group Interview to Examine Women’s Faith Lives, Kate Massey; 10 Wholly Sound: A Feminist Reframing of the ‘Problem’ of Interview Silence as a Methodology for Discovering New Knowledge, Alison Woolley; 11 Song of a Voiceless Person: Using the Poetry of Menna Elfyn in a Study of Welsh Women’s Identity and Religion, Manon Ceridwen James; Part IV: Practising Reflexivity; 12 Reflexivity, Identity and the Role of the Researcher, Jenny Morgans; 13 Writing the Self: Using the Self in Feminist Theological Research; Jan Berry
Nicola Slee is Director of Research at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, UK, where she oversees the doctoral programme, Professor of Feminist Practical Theology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Visiting Professor at the University of Chester.
Fran Porter is Research Fellow at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham, UK, where she is involved in supporting and developing research work at the Foundation.
Anne Phillips is a Researcher, Spiritual Accompanist, Retreat Leader, and, a Church of England priest in a Peak District, UK, parish.
'Nicola Slee, Fran Porter and Anne Phillips have done it again, and I am delighted they have! Following their significant volume The Faith Lives of Women and Girls, the essays collected in this new book offer fresh insights into research frameworks, gathering and analyzing data, and reflexivity specific to the study of women and girls in contemporary Christianity. Finally, researchers and students in practical, contextual, pastoral theologies and religious feminisms have a resource that speaks to their qualitative approaches, and Researching Female Faith will challenge and enrich their methodologies and methods.' – Dawn Llewellyn, Senior Lecturer in Christian Studies, University of Chester, UK