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Religion and Spirituality

Religion and Spirituality

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Religion and Spirituality

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  1. Religion and Spirituality

  2. Religion as Oppressive Force • Divinely ordained order of creation – females as inferior and men closer to God (creation myths) • Women excluded from sacred rituals • Church laws oppress women • Power over women through church and state sanctioned control (sexism, racism, intolerance) • Difference between teachings and interpretations of teachings

  3. Southern Baptist Controversy • 1980s-1990s: fundamentalists succeeded in passing resolutions excluding women from pastoral leadership and encouraging women to submit to their husbands • Many women left or turned to more moderate denominations • Jimmy Carter was a Southern Baptist – his article addresses how he handled this controversy

  4. Religion and Politics • Religious right and faith based initiatives: government funds are being provided to religious institutions, often reducing women’s choice and autonomy • Restricting abortion • Limits on rights of LGBTQ population • Defense of Marriage Act

  5. Religion as Empowering • Community with other women • Building and exercising leadership skills • Social activism • Sense of worth

  6. Women and God-Language • Image of single masculine image of deity became reflected in exclusion of women • Southern Baptist Convention issued statement declaring “God is father” • Can you be a feminist and choose to practice a traditional religion?

  7. Nancy Mairs • A Dynamic God: For those struggling with contradictions between organized religion and their personal beliefs, this testament to living an intimately unique brand of Catholicism will be welcome reading. Inspired by the beauty and the mysticism inherent in the ritual, Mairs, a convert to Catholicism, is able to divorce herself from the restrictive dogma, fashioning an affirmative alternative to the institutionalized Roman Catholic Church. Unconcerned by threats of excommunication or by accusations of being a "cafeteria Catholic," she embraces a dynamic God, worships and celebrates communion—without benefit of a priest—and, above all, devotes herself to the call to social action she sees as the bedrock of her faith.

  8. Sue Monk Kidd • Dance of the Dissident Daughter: I was amazed to find that I had no idea how to unfold my spiritual life in a feminine way. I was surprised and, in fact, a little terrified when I found myself in the middle of a feminist spiritual reawakening. • Sue Monk was a "conventionally religious, churchgoing woman, a traditional wife and mother" with a thriving career as a Christian writer until she began to question her role as a woman in her culture, her family, and her church. From a jarring encounter with sexism in a suburban drugstore to monastery retreats and rituals in the caves of Crete, Kidd takes readers through the fear, anger, healing, and transformation of her awakening. Retaining a meaningful connection "with the deep song of Christianity," she opens the door for traditional Christian women to discover a spirituality that speaks directly to them and provides inspiring wisdom for all who struggle to embrace their full humanity.