Women and Religion (Hardback) book cover

Women and Religion

Edited by Pamela Klassen

© 2009 – Routledge

1,668 pages

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Hardback: 9780415438391
pub: 2009-06-26

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This collection is an essential research tool for all students specializing in religion and women’s studies, and will be equally useful to those working in related fields such as anthropology, cultural studies, history, literary studies, philosophy, political science, psychology, and theology. By tracing the evolution of the topic, from the beginnings of feminist research on religion to more contemporary debates about categorizations of gender in the study of religion, this four-volume collection serves the needs of both specialist and generalist users.

Women and Religion includes essays treating a broad range of religious traditions, while focusing on particular methodological and theoretical concerns common to the study of women and religion. Organized thematically, each volume includes the most formative theoretical contributions to the field, grouped together with articles that explore a particular set of issues from a range of traditions, with the use of methodologies drawn from anthropology, history, sociology, textual criticism, and religious studies. Each volume’s introductory essay explicitly problematizes the central categories of analysis operating in the study of women and religion while also setting the articles in historical context.

Table of Contents

Volume I

1. Susan Sered, ‘"Woman" as Symbol and Women as Agents: Gendered Religious Discourses and Practices’, Revisioning Gender (Alta Mira, 1999), pp. 193–221.

2. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, ‘African-American Women’s History and the Metalanguage of Race’, Signs, 1992, 17, 2, 251–74.

3. Joan Scott, ‘Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis’, American Historical Review, 1986, 91, 5, 1053–75.

4. Judith Butler, Bodies that Matter (Routledge, 1993), pp. 1–23, 243–9.

5. Carolyn Walker Bynum, ‘"… And Woman His Humanity": Female Imagery in the Religious Writing of the Later Middle Ages’, Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion (Zone Books, 1992), pp. 151–79, 356–65.

6. Wendy Doniger, Mother Goose and the Voices of Women, Implied Spider (Columbia University Press, 1988), pp. 109–35, 171–3.

7. Julia Kristeva, From Filth to Defilement, Powers of Horror (Columbia University Press, 1982), pp. 56–89, 213–14.

8. Janet R. Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini, ‘World Secularisms at the Millennium’, Social Text, 2000, 18, 3, 1–27.

9. Karen Pechilis, ‘Feminist Theory and the Study of South Asian Religions’, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 2008, 24, 1, 5–11.

10. Lila Abu-Lughod, ‘The Romance of Resistance: Tracing Transformations of Power through Bedouin Women’, American Ethnologist, 1990, 17, 1, 41–55.

11. Bernard Faure, The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity and Gender (Princeton University Press, 2003), pp. 1–19, 341–2.

12. Mieke Bal, ‘Religious Canon and Literary Identity’, A Mieke Bal Reader (University of Chicago Press, 2006), pp. 415–40.

13. Nancy Jay, 'Theories of Sacrifice', Throughout Your Generations Forever: Sacrifice, Religion, and Paternity (University of Chicago Press, 1992), pp. 128–46, 167–9.

14. Marjorie Garber, 'Religious Habits', Vested Interests: Cross Dressing and Cultural Anxiety (Routledge, 1992), pp. 210–33, 408–10.

15. Catherine Hall, Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History (Duke University Press, 2006), pp. 452–68.

16. Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, ‘Real and Imagined Women: Politics and/of Representation’, Real and Imagined Women: Gender, Culture, and Postcolonialism (Routledge, 1993), pp. 129–46.

Volume II

17. Pauline C. Lee, ‘Li Zhi and John Stuart Mill: A Confucian Feminist Critique of Liberal Feminism’, The Sage and the Second Sex: Confucianism, Ethics, and Gender (Open Court, 2000), pp. 113–32.

18. Kate Cooper, 'Household and Empire', Household, Women, and Christianities (Brepols, 2005), pp. 91–107.

19. Veena Das, ‘The Figure of the Abducted Woman: The Citizen as Sexed’, Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary (University of California Press, 2006), pp. 18–37.

20. Nancy F. Cott, ‘Monogamy as the Law of Social Life’, Public Vows (Harvard University Press, 2000), pp. 105–31.

21. Tessa Bartholomew, ‘The Dasa Sil Mata in Contemporary Sri Lanka’, Women Under the Bo Tree: Buddhist Nuns in Sri Lanka (Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 130–55.

22. Maria Jaschok and Shui Jingjun, ‘A Mosque of Their Own: Muslim Women, Chinese Islam and Sexual Equality’, The History of Women’s Mosques in Chinese Islam (Curzon Press, 2000), pp. 3–31.

23. Miriam Peskowitz, 'Daily Labours', Spinning Fantasies: Rabbis, Gender and History (University of California Press, 1997), pp. 49–76.

24. Daniel Boyarin, ‘Feminization and its Discontents: Torah Study as a System for the Domination of Women’, Unheroic Conduct: The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man (University of California Press, 1997), pp. 151–85.

25. Bernadette Brooten, Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism (University of Chicago Press, 1996).

26. Martha Few, ‘Female Sorcery, Material Life, and Urban Community Formation’, Women Who Live Evil Lives: Gender, Religion, and the Politics of Power in Colonial Guatemala, 1650–1750 (University of Texas Press, 2002), pp. 100–28, 156–9.

27. Susan Neylan, ‘Contested Family: Navigating Kin and Culture in Protestant Missions to the Tsimshian, 1857–1896’, in Nancy Christie (ed.), Households of Faith: Family, Gender, and Community in Canada, 1730–1969 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002), pp. 167–202.

28. James Opp, ‘Healing Hands, Healthy Bodies: Protestant Women and Faith Healing in Canada and the United States, 1880–1930’, Women in Twentieth Century Protestantism (University of Illinois Press, 2002).

29. Rebecca Lester, Jesus in our Wombs: Embodying Modernity in a Mexican Convent (University of California Press, 2005), pp. 1–29.

30. Adeline Masquelier, ‘When Spirits Start Veiling: The Case of the Veiled She-Devil in a Muslim Town of Niger’, Africa Today, 2008, 54, 3, 40–64.

31. Laurel Zwissler, ‘Spiritual, But Religious: "Spirituality" Among Religiously Motivated Feminist Activists’, Culture and Religion, 2007, 8, 1, 51–69.

32. Tracy Fessenden, ‘"Woman" and the "Primitive" in Paul Tillich’s Life and Thought: Some Implications for the Study of Religion’, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 1998, 14, 2, 45–76

Volume III

33. Abou Al-Fadl, The Text and Authority, Speaking in God’s Name (Oneworld, 2001), pp. 96–140.

34. Amy Hollywood, 'Practice, Belief, and Feminist Philosophy of Religion', in Kevin Schilbrack (ed.), Thinking Through Rituals (Routledge, 2004), pp. 52–70.

35. Janet Gyatso, ‘One Plus One Makes Three: Buddhist Gender, Monasticism, and the Law of the Non-Excluded Middle’, History of Religion, 2003, 43, 2, 89–115.

36. Kecia Ali, ‘Progressive Muslims and Islamic Jurisprudence: The Necessity for Critical Engagement with Marriage and Divorce Laws’, Progressive Muslims (Oneworld, 2003), pp. 163–89.

37. Rachel Adler, ‘Here Comes Skotsl: Renewing Halacha’, Engendering Judaism: An Inclusive Theology and Ethics (Beacon Press, 1998), pp. 21–59, 223–31.

38. Arti Dhand, ‘The Subversive Nature of Virtue in the Mahabharata: A Tale about Women, Smelly Ascetics, and God’, Journal of American Academy of Religion, 2004, 72, 1, 33–58.

39. Ilana Pardes, ‘The Book of Ruth: Idyllic Revisionism’, Countertraditions in the Bible: A Feminist Approach (Harvard University Press, 1992), pp. 98–117, 170–2.

40. Karen Pechilis, ‘Chosen Moments: Mediation and Direct Experience in the Life of the Classical Tamil Saint Karaikkal Ammaiyar’, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 2008, 24, 1, 11–31.

41. Karyn Lai, ‘The Daodejing: Resources for Contemporary Feminist Thinking’, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 2000, 27, 2, 131–53.

42. Carol Duncan, ‘Aunt(y) Jemima in Spiritual Baptist Experience in Toronto: Spiritual Mother or Servile Woman?’, Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, Mar. 2001, 97–122.

43. Meera Sehgal, ‘Manufacturing a Feminized Siege Mentality', Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 2007, 36, 2, 165–83.

44. Yvonne Chireau, ‘The Uses of the Supernatural’, in Susan Juster and Lisa MacFarlane (eds.), A Mighty Baptism: Race, Gender, and the Creation of American Protestantism (Cornell University Press, 1996), pp. 171–88.

45. Ana Mariella Bacigalupo, ‘The Mapuche Man Who Became a Woman Shaman: Selfhood, Gender Transgression, and Competing Cultural Norms’, American Ethnologist, 2004, 31, 3, 440–57.

46. Rayna Rapp, ‘The Disabled Fetal Imaginary’, Testing Women, Testing the Fetus (Routledge, 1999), pp. 129–64.

Volume IV

47. Alex Owen, ‘Sexual Politics’, The Place of Enchantment: British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern (University of Chicago Press, 2004), pp. 85–113, 276–83.

48. Kathleen Sands, ‘Feminisms and Secularisms’, in Janet R. Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini (eds.), Secularisms (Duke University Press, 2008), pp. 308–29.

49. Wendy Cadge, ‘Gendered Religious Organizations: The Case of Theravada Buddhism in America’, Gender & Society, 2004, 18, 6, 777–93.

50. Chava Weissler, 'The Feminist Scholar and the Tkhines', Voices of the Matriarchs (Beacon, 1998), pp. 172–86, 255–8.

51. R. Marie Griffith, God’s Daughters (University of California Press, 1997), pp. 199–213, 245–8.

52. Pamela E. Klassen, ‘The Scandal of Pain in Childbirth’, in Robert Gibbs and Elliot R. Wolfson (eds.), Suffering Religion (Routledge, 2002), pp. 73–100.

53. Saba Mahmood, ‘Feminist Theory, Embodiment, and the Docile Agent: Some Reflections on the Egyptian Islamic Revival’, Cultural Anthropology, 2001, 16, 2, 202–36.

54. Plaskow Ross, ‘Gender Theory and Gendered Realities’, Nashim: A Journal of Women’s Studies and Gender Issues, 2007, 207–51.

55. Afsaneh Najmabadi, ‘Feminism and its Burden of Birth’, Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity (Universtiy of California Press, 2005), pp. 232–44, 303–5.

56. Janice Boddy, 'Managing Tradition', The Pursuit of Certainty: Religious and Cultural Formulations (Routledge, 1995), pp. 17–44.

57. Liz Wilson, ‘Who is Authorized to Speak?: Katherine Mayo and the Politics of Imperial Feminism in British India’, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 1997, 25, 2, 139–51.

58. Kamala Visweswaran, ‘Gendered States: Rethinking Culture as a Site of South Asian Human Rights Work’, Human Rights Quarterly, 2004, 26, 2, 483–511.

59. Helen Hardacre, ‘The Practice of Mizuko Kuyo and the Changing Nature of Abortion’, Marketing the Menacing Fetus in Japan (University of California Press, 1997), pp. 55–82, 85, 90–100, 272–8.

60. William R. LaFleur, ‘Abortion, Ambiguity, and Exorcism: A Review Essay Based on Helen Hardacre’s Marketing the Menacing Fetus in Japan’, Journal of American Academy of Religion, 1999, 67, 4, 797–808.

61. Amy-Jill Levine et al., ‘Anti-Judaism and Postcolonial Biblical Interpretation’, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 2004, 20, 1, 91–132.

About the Series

Critical Concepts in Religious Studies

The Critical Concepts in Religious Studies series has continued to publish titles on the key subject area. Titles span across the religions and consider some of the most engaging areas of interest, including fundamentalism and ethics.

New in the series, Comparative Religious Ethics is a first of its kind collection. An area where a mass of scholars have now emerged, comparative ethics is an appealing field of study throughout religious studies departments.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General