Women and Religion: Recapturing Women's Spirituality
Women have always challenged the most basic tenets of the two major Western religions, Judaism and Christianity. In the past thirty years, they have been particularly successful in forcing theologians, those who study the nature of God and religious truth, and historians to rethink the enormous int1uence patriarchal societies have had upon religion, particularly the role of women. Both religions are patriarchal. As they evolved, God was generally perceived in masculine terms as father, king, lord, shepherd, judge, and so son; religious institutions were led by men up to the modern era; and women were assigned different, and frequently inferior, roles than men (Ruether, 1996).