By Kristin Kobes Du Mez
A New Gospel for Women tells the tale of Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), writer of God's observe to Women, some of the most cutting edge and finished feminist theologies ever written. An internationally-known social reformer and women's rights activist, Bushnell rose to prominence via her hugely publicized campaigns opposed to prostitution and the trafficking of girls in the US, in colonial India, and all through East Asia. In each one of those instances, the intrepid reformer struggled to come back to phrases with the truth that it used to be Christian males who have been responsible of committing acts of appalling cruelty opposed to girls. finally, Bushnell concluded that Christianity itself - or quite, the patriarchal distortion of real Christianity - has to be to blame.
A paintings of background, biography, and ancient theology, Kristin Kobes DuMez's publication presents a shiny account of Bushnell's existence. It maps a concise advent to her interesting theology, revealing, for instance, Bushnell's trust that gender bias tainted either the King James and the Revised types of the English Bible. As Du Mez demonstrates, Bushnell insisted that God created ladies to be robust and self sufficient, that Adam, no longer Eve, bore accountability for the autumn, and that it used to be via Christ, "the nice emancipator of women," that ladies could in achieving religious and social redemption.
A New Gospel for Women restores Bushnell to her rightful position in historical past. It illuminates the dynamic and infrequently thorny courting among religion and feminism in smooth the USA via mapping Bushnell's tale and her next disappearance from the old list. such a lot pointedly, the booklet finds the demanding situations confronting Christian feminists this day who desire to build a sexual ethic that's either Christian and feminist, one rooted no longer within the Victorian period, yet particularly one fitted to the trendy international.
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Extra resources for A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism
Several years before Bushnell’s arrival, the Methodist Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS) had established a boarding school in Kiukiang. The local inhabitants, however, were suspicious of the missionaries’ intentions. 5 These new arrivals wasted no time in setting up a dispensary in order to treat Chinese patients, but an excessive workload, together with an enervating climate and frequent exposure to illness, soon took a toll on the missionaries’ health. Back home, the WFMS scrambled to send additional workers.
Essential to this justification, and indeed at the very heart of “Woman’s Work for Woman,” was the depiction of foreign women as victims in need of redemption. ”17 Perhaps nowhere is this attitude better illustrated than in Western responses to the Chinese custom of foot-binding. Evocatively symbolizing the oppression that women suffered in “heathen” cultures, foot-binding powerfully reinforced Westerners’ conviction that Christianity had emancipated Western women from such cruel and oppressive practices.
3 It is hard to imagine a location that could have better prepared Katharine Bushnell for her future work, for in perhaps no community in America were the connections between Protestant Christianity and the women’s movement more evident than in Evanston in the 1870s. Inspired A Paradise for Women 13 by their Christian faith, Evanston’s women pioneered efforts in education and voluntary work for women. They were enthusiastic supporters of the women’s foreign missionary movement, and they would be instrumental in transforming temperance into the leading cause of nineteenth-century American women.