About this book
This book introduces the special dynamics of women and their close relationships with the gift in both past and contemporary religious settings. Written from a cross-cultural perspective, it challenges depictions of women’s roles in religion where they have been relegated to compliance with specifically designated gendered attributes. The different chapters contest the resultant stereotypes that deny women agency. Each chapter describes women as engaged in an aspect of religion, from that of ritual specialists, to benefactors and patrons, or even innovators. The volume examines topics such as sainthood and sacrifice so as to refine these ideas in constructive ways that do not devalue women. It also examines the meaning of the term “gift” today, embracing the term in both figurative and literal ways. Such a collection of diverse women’s writings and activities provides a significant contribution to their quest for recognition, and also suggests ways this can be understood and realized today.
Gender, the gift, and exchange Cross-cultural perspectives Women’s religious agency Feminist religious imaginary Women as ritual specialists Revisiting women and sacrifice Women priestesses in Okinawa African American women’s bodily wisdom contemporary woman saint Women vital role in the Sun Dance