Special Issue "Women and Religious Authority"
A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2011).
Interests: religion in America; American cultural history; catholicism in America; mormonism; women's studies of religion; religion and the body; performance studies
A woman’s “place” within her religious community is complicated with social, political, cultural, and theological concerns. Changes to church polity do not always signal changes in a tradition’s faithful; meanwhile, women barred from formal leadership positions often exercise power in informal ways. Understanding women’s religious authority, then, always demands a multi-layered investigation. Attention must be paid to the conflicts that arise, the creativity that emerges, and the communities that develop around issues of women’s religious authority. This special issue of Religions enters this discussion, challenging and contributing to existing discourses, both religious and academic. Here, we investigate the authority (or authorities) women exercise within religious spheres. We will investigate questions about women in positions of leadership; contestation over religious authority owing to gender; and women’s theological contributions to religious practices. We encourage contributions from a variety of fields, including but not limited to history, theology, anthropology, sociology, or cultural studies. Multidisciplinary work is encouraged. We seek articles dealing with women from a variety of religious traditions (such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, Catholicism, and Protestantism, and also New Religious Movements and sectarian groups). We welcome scholarship addressing all different historical moments, and occurring at any place on the globe. We envision this issue of Religions as an opportunity for scholars across the academic spectrum to come together, exploring the multi-dimensional, politically-fraught, and theologically-charged theme of “women and religious authority.”
Prof. Dr. Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp
Ms. Jill Peterfeso