chapter  6
Gender and Religion
ByC. Margaret Hall
Pages 15

It is popularly believed that religions offer a life of the spirit to all (James, 1969). However, it is not true that women and men are equals in religions, because women and men do not have similarly sacralized lives, or the same access to supernatural powers, in many religions (Chopp, 1989; Daly, 1968). Certainly, some strides have been made as women have become priests and rabbis in some faiths. However, recent research has substantiated that women continue to have unequal access to godheads in modern industrialized societies, as they did in many preliterate societies; that disproportionately few women lead contemporary religious organizations; and that these patterns in women’s distance from sources of religious powers are correlated with perpetuations of women’s lower status (Chopp, 1989; Eisler, 1987; Lerner, 1986).