Synopses & Reviews
Why do you stay?” It is a common question women are asked in relation to their faith. These are not women who buy into Candace Camerons biblically submissive theory; rather, these are women who claim a feminist identity, have membership in a particular religious tradition, and practice their faith in spite of gendered challenges.
In Faithfully Feminist 15 Christian, 15 Jewish, and 15 Muslim women share their stories of struggle and faith.
In a world where womens issues are political issues, women are judged for their positions in relation to their claimed identities. Feminists argue that you cannot be a true” feminist if you are a practicing Christian, Muslim, or Jew. Likewise, religious practitioners claim that you cannot be a true” Christian, Muslim, or Jew if you support feminist values. Nevertheless, women who practice these religious traditions and hold feminist values are not uncommon, and the question Why do you stay?” is one that is frequently asked of them.
Faithfully Feminist is the sharing of stories, encouraging other women, and acknowledging that being feminist doesnt mean giving up on your faith.
What a brave and powerful examination of observance and empowerment; of living within boundaries and embracing the possibilities they reveal. The importance of appreciating the challenges and simultaneous beauty of living inside of a system of observance cannot be overemphasized. This compilation does all of that and more.”
- Mayim Bialik, Emmy-nominated actor, The Big Bang Theory”
One after another these Faithful Feminists from Abrahamic traditions tell of their journey through bias and discrimination to clarity and peace. The struggle can come within religious traditions or in secular settings, but all lead to a fuller understanding of fidelity in a complex world. In their telling many of their stories mirror and nourish my own. I am grateful for their bold willingness to share their insights and stimulate my reflection giving rise to the certainty that we are all sisters in this quest. Thank you!
- Sr. Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK and founder of Nuns on the Bus
The stories shared in Faithfully Feminist paint for us the varied and textured reality of womens feminist expressions of faith in all their complexity. They defy any claim to simple, dualistic perspectives of how feminists should relate to patriarchal religious traditions. Life cannot be so reduced. These womens stories are a testimony to the vastness of human strength and creativity and the transformation that is possible at the intersection of feminisms and religions. These women speak for themselves and we are the better if we received their gift and listen to their voices.” - Xochitl Alvizo, Co-Founder of FeminismandReligion.com
"What brings one to faith and keeps one 'faithful,' especially in religious communities that remain densely patriarchal? As the narratives in this anthology attest, these are such ineffably personal questions that no woman can answer them for another. Perhaps that is just as well since it allows us to learn from each other's struggles how to be present to the divine in our own distinctive ways." - Dr. Asma Barlas, Professor of Politics at Ithaca College and author of "Believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur'an
Faithfully Feminist is a creative collage of witty, tantalizing, courageous, honest, and provocative faith stories. The writers share from the sacred places in the heart and urge us to answer the question, 'why do we stay?' Their diverse stories affirm that feminism is necessary to the faith and practice of us all for we are all Gods people. These heartwarming stories challenge the boundaries that patriarchal religions place on women and celebrates the significance of listening and attending to womens faith voices.” Grace Ji-Sun Kim, author of The Grace of Sophia: A Korean North American Womens Christology
"This is a richly textured, intellectually and ethically challenging bookespecially for readers like me. As a religious traditionalist, I need to hear these voices. I may not always want to hear them, but I need to hear them. Their honesty, depth, commitment, and energy are compelling. This book attests to the vitality of our several traditions and to the moral integrity of the thinkers who work to stay within them." Alan Mittleman, Professor of Jewish Philosophy at The Jewish Theological Seminary and author of A Short History of Jewish Ethics
"In todays world, expressing faith is often as contentious as claiming feminism. Faithfully Feminist brings the two together like cinders in a fire longing for oxygen. Sparks fly as Muslim, Jewish, and Christian women invite us into their stories of standing up for their equality and full humanity while deepen their faith. The diversities and continuities of their experiences of the divine and commitment to their communities ignite and illuminate faith and feminism in ways that enrich each tradition. Stunningly eloquent, powerfully honest, a must read! Kate Ott, author of Sex + Faith
"Read this book--to plunge immediately into the world of why women bother sticking with the worlds' sexist religious traditionsbecause they want to transform them! In the words of the savvy editors of Faithfully Feminist, to live a feminist and religious life is an art . . . it requires being graceful and bold, cunning and creative. This is precisely what this strong collection of writing is all about." - Laura Levitt, Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies and Gender, Temple University
"Faithfully Feminist is a must read for anyone eager to tear down biases and stereotypes surrounding the loaded concepts of both religion and feminism. This beautifully written anthology finally provides a loud and clear voice for women who are proud to call themselves feminists and believers, and serves as a wakeup call to those that believe feminism is incompatible with religion. An inspiring book! Shaheen Pasha, Assistant Professor of international Journalism at University of Massachusetts-Amherst and former reporter for Dow Jones, CNN and Thomson Reuters
About the Author
, Ph.D., is the dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Ursuline College. Gina is also a cofounder of Feminism and Religion
, the global online project. She is the author of Rape Culture and Spiritual Violence
and lives in Pepper Pike, OH.
Jennifer Zobair is an attorney and a writer. She is the author of the novel, Painted Hands (St. Martins Press), and her essays on Muslim women and feminism have appeared in The Rumpus, The Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, and elsewhere. She is a columnist for The Muslim Observer and is the founder of the website story and chai, a creative space for readers and writers of Muslim and culturally diverse narratives. Jennifer lives with her husband and three children outside of Washington, D.C.
Amy Levin is a Jewish feminist thinker, blogger, community organizer, and activist. Levin writes on the intersection of American religion, liberalism, and feminism. Her written work has been published on multiple platforms including The Revealer, Feminism and Religion, and Religious Freedom USA. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.