Taking Back God: American Women Rising Up for Religious Equality

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Dec 23, 2008 - Religion - 368 pages

In Taking Back God Leora Tanenbaum recounts the stories of women across the United States, starting with herself, who love their religion but hate their second-class status within it.

If you've witnessed the preferential treatment of men in America's houses of worship, you will not be surprised to learn that there is a surge of women in this country rising up and demanding religious equality. More and more, religious women—Christian, Muslim, and Jewish—are declaring that they expect to be treated as equals in the religious sphere. They want the same meaningful spiritual connections enjoyed by their brothers, fathers, husbands, and sons. They embrace the word of God but are critical of their faith's male-oriented theology and liturgy. They reject the conventional interpretations of religious traditions that give women a different—and, to their minds, lesser—status. Rather than abandoning their faith, they are taking it back and making it stronger, transforming religion while maintaining tradition.

Tanenbaum relates the experiences of Catholics, evangelical and mainline Protestants, Muslims, and observant Jews. The conflict they face—honoring tradition while expanding it to synchronize with modern values—is ultimately one that all people of faith grapple with today.


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User Review  - revliz - LibraryThing

Wow! An excellent overview of (American) religious feminism. I particularly appreciated that it did not focus on one religious tradition, that it was written by someone who loves her religious ... Read full review

Taking Back God: American Women Rising Up for Religious Equality

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this well-documented, engaging, and encouraging book, Tanenbaum (Slut!: Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation), herself an observant Orthodox Jew, explains why many religious women find ... Read full review


1 Women on the Verge of an Uprising
2 A LoveHate Relationship with Tradition
3 Catholic Women vs the Vatican
4 Evangelical Women Spread the Good News About Women and the Bible
5 Are Mainline Churches Making Men Less Manly and Women Too Prominent?
6 The Alarm Has Rung and Muslim Women Are WideAwake
7 God Gave the Torah to Jewish Women Too
8 The Sexual Lives of Religious Women
Womens Language in Worship
Authors Note

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About the author (2008)

Leora Tanenbaum is the author of Slut! Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation and Catfight: Rivalries Among Women—from Diets to Dating, from the Boardroom to the Delivery Room. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

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