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Cover of Women, Gender and Religious Cultures in Britain, 1800–1940

Women, Gender and Religious Cultures in Britain, 1800–1940

  • Published: 10 Jun 2010
  • DOI: 10.4324/9780203851852
  • Print ISBN: 9780415231152
  • eBook ISBN: 9780203851852

This volume is the first comprehensive overview of women, gender and religious change in modern Britain spanning from the evangelical revival of the early 1800s to interwar debates over women’s roles and ministry.

This collection of pieces by key scholars combines cross-disciplinary insights from history, gender studies, theology, literature, religious studies, sexuality and postcolonial studies. The book takes a thematic approach, providing students and scholars with a clear, comprehensive and comparative examination of ten significant areas of cultural activity that both shaped, and were shaped by, women’s religious beliefs and practices: family life, literary and theological discourses, philanthropic networks, sisterhoods and deaconess institutions, revivals and preaching ministry, missionary organisations, national and transnational political reform networks, sexual ideas and practices, feminist communities, and alternative spiritual traditions. Chapters survey the existing scholarship and identify new research trajectories. They are framed by an introduction and afterword that reflect on the implications of the resurging interest in religion and spirituality for gender and women’s history. Together, the volume challenges widely-held truisms about the increasingly private and domesticated nature of faith, the feminisation of religion and the relationship between secularisation and modern life.

Including case studies, further reading lists and with a British rather than Anglo-centric approach, this is an ideal book for anyone interested in women’s religious experiences across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


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    Front Matter
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    Introduction By Sue Morgan; Jacqueline R. deVries
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    Is there a Bible in the house? Gender, religion and family culture By Sarah C. Williams
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    Women, writing and the creation of theological cultures By Julie Melnyk
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    Women and philanthropic cultures By Susan Mumm
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    Women, religious ministry and female institution-building By Carmen M. Mangion
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    ‘With fear and trembling’: Women, preaching and spiritual authority By Pamela J. Walker
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    Professionalising their faith: Women, religion and the cultures of mission and empire By Rhonda A. Semple
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    Women, religion and reform By Clare Midgley
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    ‘The Word made flesh’: Women, religion and sexual cultures By Sue Morgan
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    More than paradoxes to offer: Feminism, history and religious cultures By Jacqueline R. deVries
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    Modernity, heterodoxy and the transformation of religious cultures By Joy Dixon
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    Afterword: Women, gender and the re-imagining of a ‘post-Christian’ Britain By Sue Morgan; Jacqueline R. deVries
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    Back Matter