From Publishers Weekly
Ordained women pose a revolutionary challenge to traditional Christian beliefs about God and male-female relationships. Virulent and ingrained discrimination against these pioneers thrives in many Christian denominations. So argues Sentilles (Taught by America
), a former aspirant to ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church. After interviewing Protestant (and, to a much lesser extent, Catholic) women of diverse denominations, races, ages and ordination status, Sentilles contends that sexism is woven through Christian practice, distorting everything from worship to creeds to human relationships. Fueled by empathy and appreciation for the women whose stories she narrates, deep disillusionment with the established church and a search for meaning in the wreckage of her own vocational discernment process, the volume is alternately sobering, deeply disturbing and hopeful. It is unclear, however, whether the writer bothered to converse with those who might have challenged the inevitably one-sided perspective of the women she portrays as victims. The book is also marred by the author's polemical tone and personal agenda, which often make it read more like a crusade than an analysis. (Apr.)
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Praise for A CHURCH OF HER OWN
"Sensitively written, provocatively insightful and filled with autobiographical integrity, Sarah Sentilles' brilliance in this book calls all religious institutions to a new consciousness about gender issues." --John Shelby Spong, author of JESUS FOR THE NON-RELIGIOUS
"What does it mean to be a woman with a religious vocation? Sentilles offers a restless collage of realities, romping, ruminating, fulminating, grateful, joyous, unsatisfied -- but for readers deeply satisfying because her frank talk gives permission for the honesty that trembles and makes all things possible. A must read for any woman anyone -- who cares about women in the church today." --Karen L. King, author of THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDALA