Women and Words in Christianity
The picture to the right shows Henny Dons. She was one of several women who advocated for greater status for women in Christian organizations in Norway, especially in Christian mission organizations, in the early twentieth century. This was the time of the first-wave women's movement in Scandinavia, and Henny Dons and others have later been thought of as the "mission feminists." I am particularly interested in the fact that in this picture, she is casually holding a notebook.
In my research on the "mission feminists" I have been struck by how tightly intertwined their new thinking about women was with new language practices. The women seem to me to have carried out experiments with new ways of speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
The connection between women and words has often been problematic in the history of Christianity. What happens when women try to forge new connections between themselves and words within Christian institutions?
A book manuscript is still in the works. For now, some articles have come out of this research project, and I've posted links to them below.
"An Ethics of Response:
Protestant Christians' Relation with God and Elsewheres,"
Religion and Society, 2020.
"Value Moves in Multiple Ways:
Ethical Values, the Anthropology of Christianity,
and an Example of Women and Movement,"
Anthropological Theory, 2022.
"The Religious Feminist Subject as Material-Discursive Circuit:
A Christian Woman Reads and Re-reads Eve,"
Religion and Gender, forthcoming.
Early online publication here
"A Language-and-Materiality Approach to Reading:
Reinvigorating Thirty-Year-Old Questions,"
co-authored with Britt Halvorson,
in Matthew Rosen, ed., The Ethnography of Reading at Thirty,
Palgrave Macmillan, 2023.