“Pray to God; She Will Hear Us”: Women Reimagining Religion and Politics in the 1970s
This chapter demonstrates how religious women involved in the women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s challenged male-centered sacred language and symbols, with repercussions for understanding feminist politics in the late twentieth century. Their embrace of feminism represented the outgrowth of a spiritual quest for a sustainable theo-politics in which ideas about the divine were not distractions but essential to political work. In their search for personal and cultural transformation, they carried into the Women’s Liberation Movement an inherited religious vitalism that precipitated a reimaging of theology and religion. Cutting across the politics of the New Left, Women’s Liberation, and a fragmented liberal theological establishment, they built a bridge between religion and radical feminist politics and represented a fundamental shift in many women’s religious attitudes.