Religious and spiritual engagement has undergone multiple significant changes in recent decades. Researching Female Faith is a collection of essays based on recent and original field research conducted by the contributors, and informed by a variety of theoretical perspectives, into the faith lives of women and girls – broadly from within a Christian context.

Essays describe and recount original qualitative research that identifies, illuminates and enhances our understanding of key aspects of women’s and girls’ faith lives. Offered as a contribution to feminist practical and pastoral theology, the essays arise out of and feed back into a range of mainly UK pastoral and practical contexts. While the essays in this volume will contribute to an enhanced appreciation and analysis of female faith, the core focus is on feminist qualitative research methods and methodology. Thus, they demystify and illuminate the process of research, including features of research which are frequently under-examined.

The book is a first in bringing together a specific focus on feminist qualitative research methodology with the study of female faith lives. It will therefore be of great interest to students, academics and practitioners with interests in faith and gender in theology, religious studies and sociology.

chapter |19 pages


ByAnne Phillips, Fran Porter, Nicola Slee

part I|60 pages

Developing feminist methodologies

chapter 1|14 pages

‘Come as a girl’

Exploring issues of participative methodology for research into the spiritual lives and faith of girls-becoming-women
ByAnne Phillips

chapter 3|16 pages

Weaving a web

Developing a feminist practical theology methodology from a charismatic perspective
ByHelen Collins

chapter 4|11 pages

Living religion

Collapsing (male constructed?) boundaries between the religious and the spiritual
ByJanet Eccles

part II|44 pages

Gathering data

chapter 5|15 pages

‘Sometimes you need a question’

Structure and flexibility in feminist interviewing
ByFran Porter

chapter 6|15 pages

Exploring young adults’ faith lives through video diaries

Consent, voice and power
BySarah-Jane Page

chapter 7|12 pages

Using social media for feminist qualitative research

A pilot study into women’s experiences of Holy Communion
ByKim Wasey

part III|61 pages

Analysing data

chapter 8|13 pages

Choosing the right key

Glaserian grounded theory, NVivo and analysing interviews with survivors
BySusan Shooter

chapter 9|14 pages

Listening for the ‘I’

Adapting a voice-centred, relational method of data analysis in a group interview to examine women’s faith lives
ByKate Massey

chapter 10|16 pages

Wholly sound

A Feminist reframing of the ‘problem’ of interview silence as a methodology for discovering new knowledge
ByAlison Woolley

chapter 11|16 pages

Song of a voiceless person

Using the poetry of Menna Elfyn in a study of Welsh women’s identity and religion
ByManon Ceridwen James

part IV|30 pages

Practising reflexivity

chapter 12|14 pages

Reflexivity, identity and the role of the researcher

ByJenny Morgans

chapter 13|14 pages

Writing the self

Using the self in feminist theological research
ByJan Berry