The Church of Women: Gendered Encounters Between Maasai And Missionaries

Paperback | May 11, 2005

byDorothy L. Hodgson

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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.

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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...

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).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.88 inPublished:May 11, 2005Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253217628

ISBN - 13:9780253217622

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Table of Contents

Contents
Preface
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?
Conclusion

Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"... rich and important book.... Indeed, for many Maasai, Christianity provides an institutional door through which to claim the global citizenship promised but rarely fulfilled by modernism and development." -John G. Galaty, McGill University, History of Religions, vol. 48.4 August 2009