Without Benefit of Clergy: Women and the Pastoral Relationship in Nineteenth-Century American…

Hardcover | June 30, 2004

byKarin E. Gedge, Harry S. Stout

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The common view of the nineteenth-century pastoral relationship--found in both contemporary popular accounts and 20th-century scholarship--was that women and clergymen formed a natural alliance and enjoyed a particular influence over each other. In Without Benefit of Clergy, Karin Gedge teststhis thesis by examining the pastoral relationship from the perspective of the minister, the female parishioner, and the larger culture. The question that troubled religious women seeking counsel, says Gedge, was: would their minister respect them, help them, honor them? Surprisingly, she finds, theanswer was frequently negative. Gedge supports her conclusion with evidence from a wide range of previously untapped primary sources including pastoral manuals, seminary students' and pastors' journals, women's diaries and letters, pamphlets, sentimental and sensational novels, and The ScarletLetter.

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The common view of the nineteenth-century pastoral relationship--found in both contemporary popular accounts and 20th-century scholarship--was that women and clergymen formed a natural alliance and enjoyed a particular influence over each other. In Without Benefit of Clergy, Karin Gedge teststhis thesis by examining the pastoral relati...

Karin E. Gedge is at West Chester University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 6.3 × 9.41 × 1.1 inPublished:June 30, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195130200

ISBN - 13:9780195130201

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"Without Benefit of Clergy is an immensely rewarding book about the pastoral relationship in nineteenth-century America. Karin Gedge is a beautiful writer, and she manages to capture the explosive mixture of intimacy, neglect, love, anxiety, and abuse that marked women's relationships withtheir clergymen. Rarely has a historian so devastatingly exposed the problems created by the gender ideology of 'separate spheres.'" --Catherine A. Brekus, Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740-1845