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 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. 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 a survey of the existing scholarship, and with a British rather than Anglo-centric approach, this is an ideal book for anyone interested in women's religious experiences across the nineteeth and twentieth centuries.