The Church of Women: Gendered Encounters Between Maasai And Missionaries by Dorothy L. HodgsonThe Church of Women: Gendered Encounters Between Maasai And Missionaries by Dorothy L. Hodgson

The Church of Women: Gendered Encounters Between Maasai And Missionaries

byDorothy L. Hodgson

Paperback | May 11, 2005

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In Africa, why have so many more women converted to Christianity than men? What explains the appeal of Christianity to women? What does religious conversion mean for the negotiation of gender and ethnic identity? What role does religious conversion play as a tool for empowering women? In The Church of Women, Dorothy L. Hodgson looks at how gender has shaped the encounter between missionary priests and Maasai men and women in Tanzania. Building on her extensive experience with Maasai and the Spiritan missionaries, Hodgson explores how gendered change among Maasai has shaped women's notions of religious faith, religious practice, and spiritual power. Hodgson explores the appeal of Catholicism among women in East Africa, the enmeshing of Catholic practice with Maasai spirituality, and the meaning of conversion to new Christians. This rich, engaging, and original book challenges notions about religious encounter and the role of ethnic identity, female authority, and power among Maasai.

Dorothy L. Hodgson teaches anthropology at Rutgers University, where she is affiliated with the Center for African Studies and the Women's and Gender Studies Department. She is author of Once Intrepid Warriors (IUP, 2001).
Title:The Church of Women: Gendered Encounters Between Maasai And MissionariesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.88 inPublished:May 11, 2005Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253217628

ISBN - 13:9780253217622


Table of Contents

Note on Maasai Terms

Introduction: Gender, Power, and the Missionary Encounter
1. "Oh She Who Brings the Rain"
2. Men of the Church
3. Evangelizing "the Maasai"
4. The Church of Women
5. Being a Man in the Church of Women
6. Possessed by the Spirit
7. Toward a Maasai Catholicism?


Editorial Reviews

This superb book is one of the best studies written on conversion to Christianity in an African culture. . . . [A]n instant classic . . . A clearly written, interesting, and mature work of scholarship. The Church of Women is highly recommended for researchers in African studies, gender studies, and world Christianity.