Narrating the Church: Protestant Women Pastors Challenge Nostalgic Desire
During the women's liberation movement of the sixties, evangelical (also called biblical or Christian) feminists began to explore what “liberation” meant within their faith traditions. In this paper, Bammert situates the voices of contemporary Christian women pastors within American evangelical feminism. Over the course of two years, she interviewed twenty women pastors from diverse Christian communities and discovered rhetorically nuanced ways for understanding and living a complex faith tradition. Consequently, women pastors occupying spaces, places, and roles traditionally gendered male exposes new ways of thinking about the female subject-in-relation. Additionally, women pastors counter contemporary desires to sediment Christian theology and practices in warmly remembered pasts or in deferring life to idealized futures through the creative crafting of the present. The results are rhetorical resources for integrating transcendence and immanence within the lived moment and new ways of thinking about feminist rhetoric, cultural practices, and social change.
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