re: women who transition from fundamentalism to feminism-- Have you read "The Dance of the Dissident Daughter" by Sue Monk Kidd? (Yes, the woman who wrote "The Secret Life of Bees"--she also used to write Christian self-help.) "Dissident Daughter" is quite remarkable. The cover says that it is "a woman's journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine." I would call it a journey from embracing and supporting patriarchy to embracing and advancing feminism. I really recommend it.

I must also recommend a trio of books by my favorite writer, Karen Armstrong: "Through the Narrow Gate," "A History of God," and "The Spiral Staircase." TtNG deals with her seven years as a Roman Catholic nun; AHoG is a very marvelous scholarly analysis of monotheism; and TSS is her story of how she became the remarkable person she is, which includes being painfully concerned with the ways Christianity devalues both the feminine and actual women. You need them all to get the fully journey.

Another interesting book dealing with similar themes is "In the Wilderness" by Kim Barnes. (Although last I checked it was out of print.)

There's also an interesting movie with Renee Zellweger called "A Price Above Rubies" about an Orthodox Jewish housewife who leaves her husband the church for reasons that have everything to do with gender oppression, though the movie stops before she declares herself a feminist--I like to think it's built into the plot, however. :-)

Then there are a bunch of Mormon women writers I could mention, but maybe I'll post that on my blog before too long.

As you can see, I'm pretty interested in this myself. And if anyone knows of other books on the topic, I'd be grateful if they'd share them.


Wow...thanks for the book recommendations. Definately adding these to my Amazon Wish List now.

I agree Happy Feminist, it is a topic that is immensely interesting to me, probably because I was brought up completely opposite. What I find interesting is that many conservative Christians don't share that interest for what is different and unknown, almost as if they were raised to not question anything or to explore anything outside the realm of what is fed to them. I could expand many times over on this, but I fear that I'll end up rambling.



Count me in as another woman who left a patriarchal and fairly conservative (though not quite fundamentalist) religion/church and eventually became a feminist.

I've never met anybody who made the transition the other direction and it kindof boggles my mind that anybody would. I guess that means I need to work on my empathy and thinking outside my own box.


I share everyone's interest in this, and thank you, Holly, for the recommendations! I second Karen Armstrong's books. I read "The Spiral Staircase" at the recommendation of a friend of mine, an ex-Catholic nun who is now a Wiccan. I couldn't put it down, and in many ways I still haven't; it's a gripping book.

I would also recommend reading books written FOR fundamentalist Christian women, books like "Created to be his helpmeet," and visiting websites such as www.nogreaterjoy.org (look under "topics" for marriage & family articles).

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