“Outside the Mainstream: Women’s Religion and Women Religious Leaders in Nineteenth-Century America”
Bednarowski, Mary Farrell. “Outside the Mainstream: Women’s Religion and Women Religious Leaders in Nineteenth-Century America.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 48, no. 2 (June 1980): 207–31.
Bednarowski analyzes the roles of women in 19th-century marginal religious movements (Shakerism, Spiritualism, Christian Science, and Theosophy) in light of these movements’ perception of the divine, interpretation of the Fall, need for a traditional ordained clergy, and women’s roles other than marriage and motherhood. Bednarowski chose these four aspects because they are the biblically-based assumptions used by institutionalized religion to exclude women: a male God, the so-called weak state of women as illustrated in the Fall, the silencing of women in church in the name of Paul, and the scripturally-ordained subordination of women. Specifically regarding Christian Science, Bednarowski notes women were very much present as founder (Mary Baker Eddy), writers, preachers, teachers and healers. Women found independence (in contrast to the helpless, dependent state of most 19th-century women), opportunities for leadership, a non-anthropomorphic God who is Love itself, incorporating more feminine qualities than masculine, an absence of ordained clergy, and a nontraditional view of marriage.
Print ISSN: 0002-7189
Annotations related by category:
- Availability: Online - Academic Credentials or Fee
- Controversy: Sex and Marriage
- Official Christian Science Publication: No
- People: Eddy, Mary Baker
- Publication Date: 1956-1980
- Resource Types: Article
- Subjects: Bible
- Subjects: Church Practices
- Subjects: Feminist Perspectives
- Subjects: Social and Cultural Studies