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About the Book

Beyond the Book

352 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 9 illus., notes, bibl., index

The Religious History of American Women

Reimagining the Past

More than a generation after the rise of women's history alongside the feminist movement, it is still difficult, observes Catherine Brekus, to locate women in histories of American religion. Mary Dyer, a Quaker who was hanged for heresy; Lizzie Robinson, a former slave and laundress who sold Bibles door to door; Sally Priesand, a Reform rabbi; Estela Ruiz, who saw a vision of the Virgin Mary--how do these women's stories change our understanding of American religious history and American women's history?

In this provocative collection of twelve essays, contributors explore how considering the religious history of American women can transform our dominant historical narratives. Covering a variety of topics--including Mormonism, the women's rights movement, Judaism, witchcraft trials, the civil rights movement, Catholicism, everyday religious life, Puritanism, African American women’s activism, and the Enlightenment--the volume enhances our understanding of both religious history and women’s history. Taken together, these essays sound the call for a new, more inclusive history.


Ann Braude, Harvard Divinity School

Catherine A. Brekus, University of Chicago Divinity School

Anthea D. Butler, University of Rochester

Emily Clark, Tulane University

Kathleen Sprows Cummings, University of Notre Dame

Amy Koehlinger, Florida State University

Janet Moore Lindman, Rowan University

Susanna Morrill, Lewis and Clark College

Kristy Nabhan-Warren, Augustana College

Pamela S. Nadell, American University

Elizabeth Reis, University of Oregon

Marilyn J. Westerkamp, University of California, Santa Cruz

About the Author

Catherine A. Brekus is associate professor of the history of Christianity at the University of Chicago Divinity School and author of Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740-1845 (from the University of North Carolina Press).

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