Fundamentalism and Gender, 1875 to the Present

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Yale University Press, Aug 1, 1996 - Religion - 179 pages
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This fascinating book depicts the long-running battle within the fundamentalist movement over the roles of men and women both within the church and outside it. Drawing on interviews as well as on written sources, Margaret Lamberts Bendroth surveys the complicated interplay between fundamentalist theology, which is dominated by the search for order and hierarchical gender roles that have women subservient to men, and fundamentalist practice, which often depends on women in important ways to further the movement's institutional growth. Bendroth begins by describing the earliest days of the fundamentalist movement, when there was a general acceptance of women in ministry roles as teachers, missionaries, and even occasional preachers. She then traces fundamentalism's growing identification with masculine concerns after World War I and its battle with the forces of modernity (such as the rebellious flappers of the twenties). Bendroth explains that in the years before World War II women were able once again to make substantial contributions to the movement, but that during the cultural turn toward domesticity in the 1950s, fundamentalist leaders urged women to retreat to their "ordained" roles as submissive helpmates and encouraged men to fill the teaching and organizational positions the women vacated. Bendroth brings this conflict up to the present, examining the fundamentalist and evangelical rejection of contemporary feminism and investigating how our cultural norms of equality affect these movements' teaching on gender roles. - Publisher.

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Fundamentalism & gender, 1875 to the present

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Debates over women's full participation simmer within many religious groups as well as in the larger society. Bendroth, a lecturer at Andover-Newton Theological Seminary, concisely investigates the ... Read full review


Revivalism and Masculinity in Early Fundamentalism
Early Fundamentalisms
Gender and Vocation in Fundamentalist Institutions
The Fundamentalist Family
The Meaning of Evangelical Feminism
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (1996)

Margaret Lamberts Bendroth is Executive Director and Librarian for The Congregational Library in Boston, Massachussetts. She is the author of several books, including "Fundamentalism and Gender, 1875 to the Present" and "Fundamentalists and the City: Conflict and Division in Boston's Churches, 1885 to 1950 ", and has edited several other volumes.

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