By Kristin Kobes Du Mez
A New Gospel for Women tells the tale of Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), writer of God's be aware to Women, some of the most cutting edge and entire feminist theologies ever written. An internationally-known social reformer and women's rights activist, Bushnell rose to prominence via her hugely publicized campaigns opposed to prostitution and the trafficking of ladies in the United States, in colonial India, and all through East Asia. In each one of those instances, the intrepid reformer struggled to come back to phrases with the truth that it was once Christian males who have been responsible of committing acts of appalling cruelty opposed to girls. eventually, Bushnell concluded that Christianity itself - or fairly, the patriarchal distortion of actual Christianity - has to be to blame.
A paintings of historical past, biography, and ancient theology, Kristin Kobes DuMez's booklet presents a vibrant account of Bushnell's existence. It maps a concise advent to her attention-grabbing theology, revealing, for instance, Bushnell's trust that gender bias tainted either the King James and the Revised types of the English Bible. As Du Mez demonstrates, Bushnell insisted that God created girls to be powerful and self reliant, that Adam, no longer Eve, bore accountability for the autumn, and that it used to be via Christ, "the nice emancipator of women," that girls could in achieving non secular and social redemption.
A New Gospel for Women restores Bushnell to her rightful position in historical past. It illuminates the dynamic and sometimes thorny courting among religion and feminism in glossy the United States by means of mapping Bushnell's tale and her next disappearance from the old checklist. so much pointedly, the publication unearths the demanding situations confronting Christian feminists this day who desire to build a sexual ethic that's either Christian and feminist, one rooted no longer within the Victorian period, yet fairly one fitted to the fashionable global.
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Extra resources for A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism
On the one hand, Evanston was designed by and for members of the Methodist middle class as a place where domesticity could flourish. But its bourgeois inhabitants also had access to an egalitarian religious language that enabled some women to expand or transgress conventional boundaries of domesticity. In Evanston’s homes, middle-class mothers, daughters, and grandmothers came together to explore their religious heritage and investigate the ways of holiness; as older women shared their wisdom with younger women, they equipped and empowered the rising generation to devote their lives to social sanctification, at home and abroad.
However, the community of women that had welcomed and nurtured her had other plans for this promising young woman. Desiring that she become a missionary not only in spirit but in fact, members of the Women’s Mission Board at her church induced her to accept a position as a medical missionary to China. Bushnell’s years in Evanston had been formative ones, and had prepared her well to take up one of the most adventurous opportunities available to an educated young woman in her day. Trained in medicine and inspired by her religious formation, Bushnell could lay claim to the authority of modern science, to the moral authority of womanhood, and to the egalitarian power of the Spirit.
14 And women’s domestic identities were central to this justification for empire. As Amy Kaplan explains, somewhat paradoxically it was through their exclusion from the public realm of commerce and politics that women participated most actively in American expansionism. 16 “Imperial domesticity” thus provided a powerful justification for Christian missions and Western expansionism, and the two were closely linked. Essential to this justification, and indeed at the very heart of “Woman’s Work for Woman,” was the depiction of foreign women as victims in need of redemption.
A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism by Kristin Kobes Du Mez