God Gave Us the Right: Conservative Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, and Orthodox Jewish Women Grapple with Feminism

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Rutgers University Press, 1999 - Religion - 283 pages
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What does it mean to be a religious conservative, particularly for women, in America today? While it appears that people are returning to conservative religion because they are fed up with the excesses of liberalism, including feminism, a closer look at the lives of religious conservatives reveals a more complex reality. Drawing on two years of ethnographic research in Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant communities, Christel Manning explores the diversity among women who have returned to tradition. Arguing that America has undergone profound cultural and economic changes in the last thirty years, which create tension between women's lives and traditional gender roles, she demonstrates that conservative Catholics, Orthodox Jews, and Evangelical Protestants negotiate those tensions in different ways. Manning also shows that women in conservative religious communities share many of the same concerns as secular women. Manning looks at how the religious communities profiled have been influenced by feminist values and describes the ways in which these women negotiate gender roles at work, religious services, and at home. She explains how they deal with the inconsistencies created by their attempts to integrate feminist and traditionalist norms. In highly accessible prose, Manning examines their attitudes towards the feminist movement, its impact on American culture, and the extent to which the women seek to resist it. God Gave Us the Right explains how these different views of feminism reflect the diverse theologies and historical experiences of the three communities.

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God gave us the right: conservative Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, and Orthodox Jewish women grapple with feminism

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Manning (religious studies, Sacred Heart Univ.) has written a comparative study of women who have converted or returned to three different conservative religious communities: Catholic, orthodox Jewish ... Read full review


Who Are We Talking
The Rhetoric of the Elite
Three Conservative Religious Communities
Part U Yes to Feminist Values
Traditionalists in Church and Synagogue
But What about the Home?
Understanding Inconsistency
No to the Feminist Movement
Conflict with Secular AmericaAbortion
Understanding the Differences
Survey and Interview Questions

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About the author (1999)

Christel Manning is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, where she teaches courses in world religions, new religions, and religion, gender, and sexuality. She is the author of GOD GAVE US THE RIGHT: CONSERVATIVE CATHOLIC, EVANGELICAL PROTESTANT, AND ORTHODOX JEWISH WOMEN GRAPPLE WITH FEMINISM, as well as several articles on women and religion and new religious movements. Born in California and raised in Germany, she now lives with her husband and daughter in New Haven.

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