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Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  78 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Why do so many women of faith have such a strong aversion to feminism? And why do so many feminists have an ardent mistrust of religion? These questions are at the heart of Helen LaKelly Hunt's illuminating look at the alliance between spiritual conviction and social action. Intelligent and heartfelt, Faith and Feminism offers a perceptive look at the lives of five spirite ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 20th 2004 by Atria Books
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Jun 13, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
A few quick words: The stories were interesting, though I thought the author could have done more with them. Still, to make this accessible to a wider audience, they served their purposes nicely. A few other reviewers have commented that it was a stretch to call these women "feminists" - the only one I thought was more of a stretch was Dorothy Day, ironically - the information on her life highlighted public service in general, though not necessary equality between the sexes. Still, showing how e ...more
Nov 13, 2009 Willa rated it liked it
This book is moving and relevant. The stories of the various women and their religiously inspired passion for the development and liberation of women are impacting, and great examples to us in postmodern times. My only critique is that there is a lack of historical context and academic rigour - but that doesn't take away from its relevance as bringing these amazing women into the lime light.
Tina Bembry
Jul 19, 2012 Tina Bembry rated it liked it
The middle of the book is what I enjoyed most - the portraits of women who made such a difference. It is encouraging to see how a person's pain, loneliness, advocacy, among other things, can turn into a strong voice and ability to make a difference.
Dec 04, 2014 Bethany rated it it was amazing
This book is classified Religion, but to me, it's got several things in one. It's way more than meets the surface glance.

1) It's part academic. The author starts with a philosophy and some theory, and weaves it throughout her book, forming conclusions.
2) It's part biography. The author looks at five women in history through the lens of the theories she established.
3) It's part autobiography. The author adds her own story to the five, looking through the lens of those theories.
4) It's part pamp
I wasn't completely bowled over by this book. The stories of the five women Dr. Hunt uses to demonstrate her point of faith and feminism working in tandem were interesting, but I felt that for all of them except Lucretia Mott she was making a real stretch to argue that they were motivated by what we would term "feminism." Most were women who were driven to make a difference (Emily Dickinson being the exception, in my opinion), but it seemed to me that she was trying to make their stories fit her ...more
Oct 20, 2015 Kristin rated it really liked it
Loved reading this book about five woman who greatly affected this world through their faith-fueled feminism. And Helen's writing style and truths she presented along the way were written at a level I personally connected with - I would read more from her!

"If there is bloodshed on the cathedral steps, we must also recognize the bloodshed inherent in combating political oppression. If we are so angry at the deeply flawed parts of religious institutions that we cut ourselves off from our spiritual
Nov 24, 2014 Robyn rated it it was ok
Shelves: feminist
A back cover review claims that this book "unmasks the false dichotomy between faith and feminism" which really sums up the mindset that this book is designed appeal to. Worth pointing out also that although this book is obviously Christian, nowhere on the cover does it use the word Christian... rather preferring less accurate and less helpful terms like "faith", "religion", and "spirituality". Sigh. Overall, a tad superficial but a very easy read that has some interesting readers digest style b ...more
Jun 30, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
The author is not the actress, she's a psychologist who has studied women of faith like Dorothy Day and Lucretia Mott. The feminism movement has largely excluded faith from it's movement. She said the journey toward wholeness is claiming your pain, integrating your shadow, finding your voice, taking action and living communion. I found it fascinating.
Sep 09, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it
The part I actually found most inspiring about this book was the reflective discussion and journaling questions at the end. They really sparked some timely thoughts and conversations for me. I also especially enjoyed the chapter on Emily Dickinson, as I've always found her interesting and relatable.
Oct 26, 2011 Cynthia rated it liked it
I really appreciated the author's thesis that one's faith can enrich one's feminism. She asserts the interconnected nature of faith/spirituality and the search for social justice. I enjoyed her portraits of five women of faith and feminism. I would have liked a deeper look at their lives.
May 14, 2015 Marlies rated it liked it
Heroes of feminism! It was great to read about amazing women who were not afraid to be authentic and vulnerable.
Anna Ruth
Jan 29, 2008 Anna Ruth rated it liked it
Fluff read. But I liked it.
Apr 15, 2015 Sharon rated it liked it
Enjoyed the look into these interesting women who were way ahead of their times.
Feb 25, 2009 Stephanie rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Didn't go as in depth as I'd like but it was interesting. I liked the stories of Sojourner Truth and Lucretia Mott.
J. Ewbank
J. Ewbank rated it it was ok
Jun 27, 2010
Ashley rated it it was ok
Nov 28, 2008
ياسر ثابت
ياسر ثابت rated it liked it
May 26, 2013
Oct 19, 2012 Jessica marked it as to-read
Shelves: abandoned
This book is wonderful.

Test test test...
Penney rated it really liked it
May 18, 2015
Amelia A. Poole
Amelia A. Poole rated it it was ok
Jun 03, 2015
Jessica Brazeal
Apr 06, 2017 Jessica Brazeal rated it really liked it
An excellent introduction of the intersection of these 2 realms of thought and how very linked they actually are.
Allie Silvas
Allie Silvas rated it liked it
Jan 19, 2017
Ariel Morrison
Ariel Morrison rated it it was amazing
Oct 01, 2012
Sandi rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2011
Mijide rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2014
Jill Dunlap
Jill Dunlap rated it it was ok
Mar 25, 2007
Grasser rated it liked it
Sep 06, 2014
Lisa taylor
Lisa taylor rated it it was ok
Jun 11, 2013
K rated it liked it
Mar 17, 2014
Eleanor (Ellie)
Eleanor (Ellie) rated it did not like it
Aug 06, 2016
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“One way to respond to these "sins" is found in The Divine Comedy, in which Dante is ultimately led to the vision of God by his guide, Beatrice. In first traversing through the Inferno, Dante reveals that the inhabitants of the Inferno are not there because they are sinners. Sinners also make up the populations of Purgatory and Paradise. Rather, those souls are in the Inferno because they are sinners who refused to admit to their own sins. They denied their faults and projected them onto others, blaming everyone around them. The lesson we learn is that only when our sins become acknowledged and deeply felt can they be integrated. Deep reflection and prayer are an important part of the integration of the [inner] shadow. Once we admit to our shadow with honesty and an open heart, the shadow has the potential to become transformed.

Once the shadow is integrated, the Seven Deadly Sins can become aspects of a healthy self. Greed and lust become passion, imbuing our journey with heart and fire. Anger transforms into righteousness that acts compassionately for own and other's behalf. The healthy side to gluttony is self-care, something many women have to learn. Envy, once integrated, becomes an appreciation of others. And in a society where doing is valued over being, sloth turns into the ability to be still. Pride enables us to feel good about our accomplishments and grow in confidence and strength. But the path to authenticity is to admit these qualities are within us. It is shadow work that enables holy women to make their hidden struggles into levers with which to free themselves.”
“Her way of being religious was as nonconformist as her nonreligious life had been. She was skeptical about many of the practices of the institutional church. She preferred to trust in the personal relationship she had grown to experience with God. This relationship transformed her ability to be in community and enabled her to see the essence of those around her: "The longer I live, the more I see God at work in people who don't have the slightest interest in religion and never read the Bible and wouldn't know what to do if they were persuaded to go inside a church."

For Dorothy [Day], the bread broken at Mass wasn't any more holy than the bread broken at shelters and soup kitchens. Church didn't happen in a building. It happened in the way people related to each other. Christ wasn't any more present in the liturgy than he was when on person listened with compassion to the pain of another.”
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