The Orthodox Christian tradition has all too often been sidelined in conversations around contemporary religion. Despite being distinct from Protestantism and Catholicism in both theology and practice, it remains an underused setting for academic inquiry into current lived religious practice. This collection, therefore, seeks to redress this imbalance by investigating modern manifestations of Orthodox Christianity through an explicitly gender-sensitive gaze. By addressing attitudes to gender in this context, it fills major gaps in the literature on both religion and gender.

Starting with the traditional teachings and discourses around gender in the Orthodox Church, the book moves on to demonstrate the diversity of responses to those narratives that can be found among Orthodox populations in Europe and North America. Using case studies from several countries, with both large and small Orthodox populations, contributors use an interdisciplinary approach to address how gender and religion interact in contexts such as, iconography, conversion, social activism and ecumenical relations, among others.

From Greece and Russia to Finland and the USA, this volume sheds new light on the myriad ways in which gender is manifested, performed, and engaged within contemporary Orthodoxy. Furthermore, it also demonstrates that employing the analytical lens of gender enables new insights into Orthodox Christianity as a lived tradition. It will, therefore, be of great interest to scholars of both Religious Studies and Gender Studies.

chapter 1|21 pages

Introduction *

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part I|24 pages

Negotiating tradition

chapter 2|24 pages

Gender and Orthodox theology

Vistas and vantage points
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chapter 3|16 pages

Women in the church

Conceptions of Orthodox theologians in early twentieth-century Russia
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chapter 4|17 pages

Obedient artists and mediators

Women icon painters in the Finnish Orthodox Church from the mid-twentieth to the twenty-first century
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chapter 5|14 pages

What has not been assumed has not been redeemed

The forgotten Orthodox theological condonement of women’s ordination in the 1996 Orthodox and Old Catholic consultation on gender and the apostolic ministry
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part II|20 pages

Lived Orthodoxy

chapter 6|20 pages

How to ask embarrassing questions about women’s religion

Menstruating Mother of God, ritual impurity, and fieldwork among Seto women in Estonia and Russia *
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chapter 7|16 pages

Enshrining gender

Orthodox women and material culture in the United States
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chapter 8|16 pages

Tradition, gender, and empowerment

The Birth of Theotokos Society in Helsinki, Finland
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part III|24 pages

Crises and gender

chapter 9|24 pages

Shaping public Orthodoxy

Women’s peace activism and the Orthodox Churches in the Ukrainian crisis
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chapter 10|19 pages

On saints, prophets, philanthropists, and anticlericals

Orthodoxy, gender, and the crisis in Greece
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