By Kristin Kobes Du Mez
A New Gospel for Women tells the tale of Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), writer of God's observe to Women, probably the most cutting edge and accomplished feminist theologies ever written. An internationally-known social reformer and women's rights activist, Bushnell rose to prominence via her hugely publicized campaigns opposed to prostitution and the trafficking of girls in the US, in colonial India, and all through East Asia. In every one of those situations, the intrepid reformer struggled to come back to phrases with the truth that it was once Christian males who have been responsible of committing acts of appalling cruelty opposed to ladies. eventually, Bushnell concluded that Christianity itself - or relatively, the patriarchal distortion of real Christianity - needs to be to blame.
A paintings of background, biography, and historic theology, Kristin Kobes DuMez's booklet presents a brilliant account of Bushnell's existence. It maps a concise creation to her attention-grabbing theology, revealing, for instance, Bushnell's trust that gender bias tainted either the King James and the Revised models of the English Bible. As Du Mez demonstrates, Bushnell insisted that God created ladies to be powerful and autonomous, that Adam, no longer Eve, bore accountability for the autumn, and that it used to be via Christ, "the nice emancipator of women," that girls may in achieving religious and social redemption.
A New Gospel for Women restores Bushnell to her rightful position in heritage. It illuminates the dynamic and infrequently thorny courting among religion and feminism in sleek the USA by means of mapping Bushnell's tale and her next disappearance from the old checklist. such a lot pointedly, the e-book unearths the demanding situations confronting Christian feminists this day who desire to build a sexual ethic that's either Christian and feminist, one rooted now not within the Victorian period, yet relatively one suited for the fashionable global.
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Additional resources for A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism
Without dismissing or downplaying the ways in which Bushnell was both agent and beneficiary of Western imperial hegemony, then, a more complex, multidirectional framework of cultural exchange better illuminates Bushnell’s experience on the mission field, and the ways in which her global encounters would reveal to her the contours of Christianity and culture in the late Victorian era. Days of Severe Trial Arriving in Kiukiang in the fall of 1879, Bushnell was “happy in the prospect of [her] work,” which would involve tending to the medical needs of Chinese women and children.
It was no coincidence that what became known as the “Methodist Age” in American religious history was concurrent with the rise of American domesticity, for as growing numbers of Methodists sought positions of worldly respectability, they tended to define respectability for women primarily in terms of domesticity. 20 There remained within Methodism a countermovement, however. In the 1830s, a New York City woman named Phoebe Palmer had begun to reinvigorate old-school Methodism’s revivalistic and egalitarian message with her “holiness” teachings.
68 Upon graduation, Bushnell initially intended to undertake further clinical work and postgraduate study. However, the community of women that had welcomed and nurtured her had other plans for this promising young woman. Desiring that she become a missionary not only in spirit but in fact, members of the Women’s Mission Board at her church induced her to accept a position as a medical missionary to China. Bushnell’s years in Evanston had been formative ones, and had prepared her well to take up one of the most adventurous opportunities available to an educated young woman in her day.
A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism by Kristin Kobes Du Mez