A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism

Hardcover | April 28, 2015

byKristin Kobes Du Mez

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A New Gospel for Women tells the story of Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), author of God's Word to Women, one of the most innovative and comprehensive feminist theologies ever written. An internationally-known social reformer and women's rights activist, Bushnell rose to prominence through herhighly publicized campaigns against prostitution and the trafficking of women in America, in colonial India, and throughout East Asia. In each of these cases, the intrepid reformer struggled to come to terms with the fact that it was Christian men who were guilty of committing acts of appallingcruelty against women. Ultimately, Bushnell concluded that Christianity itself - or rather, the patriarchal distortion of true Christianity - must be to blame.A work of history, biography, and historical theology, Kristin Kobes DuMez's book provides a vivid account of Bushnell's life. It maps a concise introduction to her fascinating theology, revealing, for example, Bushnell's belief that gender bias tainted both the King James and the Revised Versionsof the English Bible. As Du Mez demonstrates, Bushnell insisted that God created women to be strong and independent, that Adam, not Eve, bore responsibility for the Fall, and that it was through Christ, "the great emancipator of women," that women would achieve spiritual and social redemption.A New Gospel for Women restores Bushnell to her rightful place in history. It illuminates the dynamic and often thorny relationship between faith and feminism in modern America by mapping Bushnell's story and her subsequent disappearance from the historical record. Most pointedly, the book revealsthe challenges confronting Christian feminists today who wish to construct a sexual ethic that is both Christian and feminist, one rooted not in the Victorian era, but rather one suited to the modern world.

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A New Gospel for Women tells the story of Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), author of God's Word to Women, one of the most innovative and comprehensive feminist theologies ever written. An internationally-known social reformer and women's rights activist, Bushnell rose to prominence through herhighly publicized campaigns against prostitu...

Kristin Kobes Du Mez is an associate professor of History and Gender Studies at Calvin College. She received a Ph.D. in American Religious History from the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include the intersection of religion, gender, and sexuality in American history, with a particular focus on women in American Prote...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.5 × 1.1 inPublished:April 28, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190205644

ISBN - 13:9780190205645

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Table of Contents

CaptionsNote on SourcesPrefaceAcknowledgementsIntroduction1. A Paradise for Women2. Virtue, Vice, and Victorian Women3. Heathen Slaves, Christian Rulers4. The Crime is the Fruit of the Theology5. Leaving Eden6. Redeeming Eve7. Liberal Conservatives8. A Prophet without HonorConclusion: The Challenge of Christian Feminism

Editorial Reviews

"Katharine Bushnell was a pioneering physician, missionary, expert in Greek and Hebrew, critic of the sexual double standard, and advocate for women's rights-all within late-Victorian culture. Kristin Kobes DuMez's historical contribution demonstrates why Bushnell deserves to be remembered asa noteworthy reformer. The book also challenges modern feminists who question Christianity and modern Christians who question feminism to ponder what each might learn from Bushnell's extraordinary career." --Mark Noll, author of Protestantism: A Very Short Introduction