I endorsed a new book, Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Women on Why They Stay (I SPEAK FOR MYSELF), edited by by Gina Messina-Dysert (Editor), Jennifer Zobair (Editor), Amy Levin (Editor).Paperback – August 11, 2015.
It is an exciting new book with significant stories and reflections which are important for all to read. Please check the website for more information.
“Why do you stay?” It is a common question women are asked in relation to their faith. These are not women who buy into Candace Cameron’s biblically submissive theory; rather, these are women who claim a feminist identity, have membership in a particular religious tradition, and practice their faith in spite of gendered challenges.In Faithfully Feminist 15 Christian, 15 Jewish, and 15 Muslim women share their stories of struggle and faith. In a world where women’s issues are political issues, women are judged for their positions in relation to their claimed identities. Feminists argue that you cannot be a “true” feminist if you are a practicing Christian, Muslim, or Jew. Likewise, religious practitioners claim that you cannot be a “true” Christian, Muslim, or Jew if you support feminist values. Nevertheless, women who practice these religious traditions and hold feminist values are not uncommon, and the question “Why do you stay?” is one that is frequently asked of them.
Faithfully Feminist is the sharing of stories, encouraging other women, and acknowledging that being feminist doesn’t mean giving up on your faith.
“The stories shared in Faithfully Feminist paints for us the varied and textured reality of women’s feminist expressions of faith in all their complexity. They defy any claim to simple, dualistic perspectives of how feminists should relate to patriarchal religious traditions. Life cannot be so reduced. These women’s stories are a testimony to the vastness of human strength and creativity and the transformation that is possible at the intersection of feminisms and religions. These women speak for themselves and we are the better if we received their gift and listen to their voices.” – Alvizo Xochitl, co-founder of FeminismandReligion.com
“What brings one to faith and keeps one ‘faithful,’ especially in religious communities that remain densely patriarchal? As the narratives in this anthology attest, these are such ineffably personal questions that no woman can answer them for another. Perhaps that is just as well since it allows us to learn from each other’s struggles how to be present to the divine in our own distinctive ways.” – Dr. Asma Barlas, Professor of Politics at Ithaca College and author of “Believing Women” in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an
Faithfully Feminist is a creative collage of witty, tantalizing, courageous, honest, and provocative faith stories. The writers share from the sacred places in the heart and urge us to answer the question, ‘why do we stay?’ Their diverse stories affirm that feminism is necessary to the faith and practice of us all for we are all God’s people. These heartwarming stories challenge the boundaries that patriarchal religions place on women and celebrates the significance of listening and attending to women’s faith voices.” –Grace Ji-Sun Kim, author of The Grace of Sophia: A Korean North American Women’s Christology
“This is a richly textured, intellectually and ethically challenging book—especially for readers like me. As a religious traditionalist, I need to hear these voices. I may not always want to hear them, but I need to hear them. Their honesty, depth, commitment, and energy are compelling. This book attests to the vitality of our several traditions and to the moral integrity of the thinkers who work to stay within them.” – Alan Mittleman, Professor of Jewish Thought at The Jewish Theological Union and author of A Shorty History of Jewish Ethics
“In today’s world, expressing faith is often as contentious as claiming feminism. Faithfully Feminist brings the two together like cinders in a fire longing for oxygen. Sparks fly as Muslim, Jewish, and Christian women invite us into their stories of standing up for their equality and full humanity while deepen their faith. The diversities and continuities of their experiences of the divine and commitment to their communities ignite and illuminate faith and feminism in ways that enrich each tradition. Stunningly eloquent, powerfully honest, a must read! – Kate Ott, author of Sex + Faith
“Read this book–to plunge immediately into the world of why women bother sticking with the worlds’ sexist religious traditions—because they want to transform them! In the words of the savvy editors of Faithfully Feminist, ‘to live a feminist and religious life is an art . . . it requires being graceful and bold, cunning and creative.’ This is precisely what this strong collection of writing is all about.” – Laura Levitt, Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies and Gender Temple University
About the Author
Gina Messina-Dysert, Ph.D., is the dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Ursuline College. Gina is also a cofounder of Feminism and Religion, the global online project. She is the author of Rape Culture and Spiritual Violence and lives in Pepper Pike, OH.
Jennifer Zobair is an attorney and a writer. She is the author of the novel, Painted Hands (St. Martin’s Press), and her essays on Muslim women and feminism have appeared in The Rumpus, The Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, and elsewhere. She is a columnist for The Muslim Observer and is the founder of the website story and chai, a creative space for readers and writers of Muslim and culturally diverse narratives. Jennifer lives with her husband and three children outside of Washington, D.C.
Amy Levin is a Jewish feminist thinker, blogger, community organizer, and activist. Levin writes on the intersection of American religion, liberalism, and feminism. Her written work has been published on multiple platforms including The Revealer, Feminism and Religion, and Religious Freedom USA. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.