The title of this anthology, Women and World Religions, was chosen deliberately to emphasize that its primary focus is on actual women and their experiences as active agents of their spiritual lives--as opposed to women in religion as goddesses or other images and symbols of females that are found in religious myths, art, and scriptures. This book explores how women from many parts of the world have thought about, acted, and been treated as members of a religious tradition.
Introductory text for each of the major world religions lays the foundation for readings that were selected with an eye toward answering such questions as:
How have women practiced religion? Have their beliefs and rituals differed from those of men? How have women within the major world religions negotiated their spiritual lives within traditions that are not only male dominated, but also sexist and patriarchal? Have they successfully carved out a -separate sphere- for their own spiritual activities, or are their religious lives in large part defined for them by male leaders? How has the status of women changed within religions, both historically and in terms of future prospects? This fresh approach to the study of women's religious experiences offers important insights into the significance of religion in societies around the world.show more