IV. Mary Magdalene
Bundesen, Lynne. Woman's Guide to the Bible. Crossroad, 1993. (192 p., $18.95)
This reflective, almost conversational book offers entrée to the Bible through questions that women might put to it, such as, "What if the Bible said that whenever the gospel is preached, it is what a woman did that will be remembered?" The sections on the gospels make up four chapters. Women discussed include the one who washes Jesus' feet (Luke 7:36-50), Martha and Mary, and Mary Magdalene.
Caspi, Mishael Maswari and Sascha Benjamin Cohen. Still Waters Run Deep: Five Women of the Bible Speak. Univ Press of America, 1999. (256 p., $32.50)
Two religion scholars collaborate on this study of Jewish, Christian and Muslim portrayals of biblical women. Four of the women are from the Old Testament, but the fifth is Mary, mother of Jesus. The authors locate the women in the context of the art and literature of their ancient cultures, and assess the impact they had on their surroundings.
Deen, Edith. All of the Women of the Bible. HarperSanFrancisco, 1988. (409 p., $9.98)
Originally published in 1955, this book presents itself as the first encyclopedic guide to all the women mentioned in the Bible. Major named women are discussed in the first part; other named women in the second, and unnamed women in the third. Each entry is a readable biography based on the relevant biblical verses, which are clearly cited. The unnamed women are arranged by an identifying descriptive under five categories: Daughters, Wives, Mothers, Widows, and Others. The author, a journalist, sees the book as the culmination of her writing career.
Emswiler, Sharon Neufer. The Ongoing Journey: Women and the Bible. Women's Division of the United Methodist Church, 1977. (144 p., out of print)
Though out of print, some leaders of this year's Spiritual Growth study may have this book, published three decades ago by the Women's Division, in their home libraries. Emswiler surveys all the women of the Bible, devoting one chapter to women who knew Jesus. She draws special attention to Luke, who she believes typically shows women in pairs of equal standing with men. Specific women discussed are: Mary mother of Jesus, Martha and Mary, Mary Magdalene, the hemorrhaging woman (Matt 9:20-22), the Syrophoencian woman (Matt 15:21-28), and the woman at the well (John 4).
Gartner, Rosanne. Meet Bathsheba: Dramatic Portraits of Biblical Women. Judson Pr, 2000. (160 p., $16.00)
Performance artist, Rosanne Gartner, transforms the stories of 16 biblical women into first-person monologues that can be play-acted or read for personal devotion. The imaginative presentations are grounded in biblical research.
Hollyday, Joyce. Clothed with the Sun: Biblical Women, Social Justice, and Us. Westminster, 1994. (241 p., $14.00)
This book functions as an aid to devotion or reflection. The author groups the women of the Bible under ten categories, the last of which, "Witnesses to Life and Resurrection," includes Mary (mother of Jesus), Mary and Martha of Bethany, and Mary Magdalene. The fifty short essays on the women's lives are meant to be read meditatively, throughout the year. Hollyday relates the biblical stories about these women to modern women's struggles for equality and justice.
Huwiler, Elizabeth F. Biblical Women: Mirrors, Models & Metaphors. Pilgrim, 1993. (168 p., $9.95)
This popularly written work examines the roles of biblical women in their ancient near eastern context. One chapter specifically addresses "Women and Jesus." Huwiler cautions against idealizing Jesus' attitudes towards women and, what easily follows on that, demonizing the ancient Jewish culture in which he was raised. It is better to read Jesus' acts and sayings in their historically accurate setting, appreciating the Jewish roots of his teachings and challenging the aspects of them that no longer speak to us today.
Kam, Rose Sallberg. Their Stories, Our Stories: Women of the Bible. Continuum, 1995. (284 p., $18.95)
A freelance writer and teacher, Kam here addresses a broad audience about both Old and New Testament women. Her aim is to make their stories more audible across the centuries. Fourteen of her 35 chapters address New Testament women. Each chapter includes historical background material, biblical paraphrase of the verses under discussion, interpretation, prayer, and discussion questions.
McKenna, Megan. Leave Her Alone. Orbis, 2000. (240 p., $14.00)
A sequel to Not Counting Women and Children (see below), this book tells more stories of biblical women, including Mary Magdalene. McKenna relates some of the stories to African and Native American folktales, in hopes of uncovering missed meanings. The title is taken from Jesus' words in defense of the woman--rebuked by the disciples--who anoints his feet (Mark 14:3-9,with parallels in the other gospels; according to John, the woman is Mary of Bethany).
McKenna, Megan. Not Counting Women and Children: Neglected Stories from the Bible. Orbis, 1994. (225 p., $12.00)
McKenna retells and interprets some of the lesser known stories about women in the Bible, for example the Canaanite woman of Mark 7, the widow of Nain (Luke 7), by way of heightening their biblical presence, stimulating imagination about their lives, and strengthening commitment to the values they directly or indirectly express. Her open-ended, invitational reflections illustrate story-telling as a theological and interpretive model that others can adapt for themselves.
McKenzie, J. J. I Will Love Unloved: A Linguistic Analysis of Woman's Biblical Importance. Univ Pr of America, 1994. (377 p., $37.50)
Through careful attention to issues of grammar, gender, and phrasing in the Greek and Hebrew of the Old and New Testaments, McKenzie seeks to further uncover "the strong thread of feminine material [that] runs through the Bible." Though the bulk of the book focuses on Old Testament, five chapters examine such New Testament issues as: the female ancestry of Jesus; feminine, neuter and androgynous imagery associated with Christ; and the biblical presentations of Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, Peter's mother-in-law and Mary of Clopas.
Meehan, Bridget Mary. Praying with Women of the Bible. Liguori, 1998. (159 p., $12.95).
A spiritual director and prolific writer, Meehan here discusses 20 biblical women, most from the New Testament. Each entry includes a short biography that incorporates biblical scholarship, quotations drawn from canonical and noncanonical sources, suggestions for discussion, and a guided meditation or prayer.
Phipps, William E. Assertive Biblical Women. Greenwood Pr, 1992. (184 p., $49.95)
Phipps discusses over twenty biblical women in nine chapters, two of which are devoted to the New Testament. By assertive women he means those who show, in the stories about them, self-expression, freedom, or social responsibility. He is especially sensitive to hints of parity between men and women in the Bible. Through judicious reference to modern culture (movies, newspaper columns, etc.), Phipps shows the relevance of these women to life today.
Remembering the Women: Women's Stories from Scripture for Sundays and Festivals, compiled by J. Frank Henderson. Liturgy Training Publications, 1998. (384 p., $25.00)
This collection of biblical passages for liturgical reading augments the Roman and Revised Common lectionaries which, Henderson notes, do not treat the women of the Bible as fully as they could. For example, the stories of Mary Magdalene here receive more of a spotlight. A final chapter on women in the lectionary, by Eileen Schuller, includes a section titled, "Women in the gospel readings," which provides an index to all the lectionary readings featuring women.
Selvidge, Marla J. Woman, Violence, and the Bible. Edwin Mellen, 1996. (150 p., $69.95)
Scholar Marla Selvidge presents here a collection of her articles on relationships between women and violence in the Bible. Several of the articles consider New Testament women. Issues addressed include: women as healers against the backdrop of the violent times in which the gospel traditions were being transmitted, namely the Roman war against Jerusalem; women as dissenters, as challengers (the Samaritan woman of John 4), and as themselves agents of violence.
Solle, Dorothee. Great Women of the Bible in Art and Literature. Eerdmans, 1994. (295 p., $50.00)
This stunning work results from the collaboration of a theologian (Dorothy Solle), a literary historian (Joe Kirchberger) and an art historian (Anne-Marie Schnieper-Muller). It beautifully reproduces samples from two millennia of artworks that feature biblical women. Accompanying essays interpret the biblical passages on which the art is based, and sketch the history of literary works (dramas, novels, poems) that build on the same passages. New Testament women included are: Elizabeth, Salome, the woman with the ointment, Martha and Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Mary mother of Jesus.
Streete, Gail Corrington. The Strange Woman: Power and Sex in the Bible. Westminster, 1997. (219 p., $19.95).
Streete, who teaches religion at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., understands the strange women of the Bible to be those who question the male-dominated social structures in which they lived. She sees adultery as the image that biblical writers read onto women who challenged those social structures. Though her reflections range over the whole Bible and other ancient literature of the Near East, an excellent index points readers to key sections on such women as Mary Magdalene and the Samaritan woman, as well as relevant gospel passages.
Swidler, Leonard. Biblical Affirmations of Women. Books on Demand, 1979. (382 p., $24.95)
Swidler's aim is to quote in full, and comment upon, every passage in the Bible that presents a positive image of women. Though its scope includes the whole Bible, the longest chapter is on the Gospels. Among his citations, Swidler includes passages from noncanonical and gnostic texts. The passages are arranged topically, by paragraph, and a structural index at the end provides a key to the arrangement.
Weems, Renita. Just a Sister Away: A Womanist Vision of Women's Relationships in the Bible. LuraMedia, 1988. (160 p., $12.95).
Bible scholar Weems offers here a series of participatory reflections on biblical women, weaving their stories together with the lives of African-American women in the church today. The essays are both accessible and provocative, concluding in each case with thoughtful discussion questions. Separate chapters discuss, among other women, Martha and Mary, Elizabeth and Mary, and the group Luke calls "certain women" (Mary Magdalene, Susanna, Joanna, Lydia).
Women in the Biblical Tradition, ed. by George Brooke. Mellen Pr, 1992. (302 p., $99.95)
This book contains academic papers presented at the Center for Biblical Studies of Manchester University (England). Topics addressed include: female wisdom traditions in the New Testament; the Syrophoenician woman of Mark 7:24-31; the silent women at Jesus' tomb (Mark 16:8); Martha and Mary; the presumption of male readership the New Testament writings make, and its impact on women readers (test case: the parables of Luke 15); the impact on the male disciples of Jesus' relation with women (John 4:27); and Mary of Clopas (John 19:25).
Women's Bible Commentary, ed. by Carol Newsom and Sharon Ringe. Westminster, 1992. (396 p., $29.95)
This work comprises a collection of articles on the books of the Bible, each written by a different woman scholar in biblical studies. The articles highlight the biblical passages bearing on women and carefully interpret them. The gospel studies, by Amy-Jill Levine (Matthew), Mary Ann Tolbert (Mark), Jane Schaberg (Luke), and Gail R. O'Day (John), comment broadly on the books as a whole, as well as individual women and themes.
Zimmer, Mary. Sister Images: Guided Meditations from the Stories of Biblical Women. Abingdon, 1993. (128 p., $7.95)
Zimmer offers guided imagery meditations on 22 biblical women, among them Mary Magdalene, to help focus attention on them in church services or private prayer. Each chapter includes biblical passage, interpretation, guided meditation, and prayer. One reviewer comments that the meditations highlight "stories of wisdom, strife, faith, woe, and courage."
Carter, Nancy Corson. Martha, Mary and Jesus: Weaving Action and Contemplation in Daily Life. Liturgical Press, 1992. (142 p., $9.95)
Carter is professor of humanities at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. A published poet, her interests center on art and spirituality. In this book, she interprets the seeming opposition between contemplative Mary and active Martha as a spiritual integration that models an ideal for our own lives.
Coffey, Kathy. The Hidden Women of the Gospels. Crossroad, 1996. (132 p., $14.95)
Noting that a high proportion of the women mentioned in the gospels go unnamed, Coffey musters her imagination to both name some of these women and amplify their stories. Among them are: the woman who baked bread and cooked fish (who becomes Raissa), the serving girl who confronts Peter (who becomes Deborah), Peter's mother-in-law (who becomes Sara), and the mother of the man born blind (who becomes Rebecca). Coffey presents these biblical women as models for today.
Corley, Kathleen. Private Women, Public Meals: Social Conflict in the Synoptic Tradition. Hendrickson, 1993. (217 p., $19.95)
Based on a doctoral dissertation, this study examines women's presence at public meals in the New Testament as a measure of their participation in the life of the early church. Corley questions the received wisdom, that early Christianity uniquely opened up new roles for women, arguing that Greco-Roman culture was already paving that way. She especially contrasts the meal scenes of Matthew and Luke, suggesting that Matthew (traditionally taken for the gospel most addressed to the ancient Jewish community) includes a broader, more inclusive range of women at his meals.
Grassi, Joseph A. Hidden Heroes of the Gospels: Female Counterparts to Jesus. Liturgical Pr, 1989. (143 p., out of print)
Grassi pinpoints the qualities of the ideal disciple, as implied by New Testament passages, and shows how each gospel positions a woman to fill that role: Mary Magdalene for Mark and Matthew; Mary, mother of Jesus, for Luke and John. In keeping with what Grassi sees as the tone of secrecy that imbues all the gospels, he suggests they are written deliberately to at first conceal and only gradually reveal, towards the end of the gospel story, Jesus' female counterpart.
Hattrick, Leah I. Women who Met Jesus. Carlton Pr, 1994 (48 p., $9.95)
Methodist missionary Hattrick writes a short, engaging introduction to Jesus' women disciples. Eighteen women are presented, roughly in the order of their appearance in the gospels. Hattrick cites all the verses associated with each woman and briefly gives her story. The style can be understatedly provocative as in the assertion that Mary Magdalene was "the girlfriend of Jesus."
Hebblethwaite, Margaret. Six New Gospels: New Testament Women Tell Their Stories. Cowley, 1994. (154 p., $10.95)
The author reconstructs views of Jesus from the perspectives of six biblical women, some of them only briefly mentioned in the gospels. Her aim is to complement the understandings of Jesus presented in the canonical gospels. The six women discussed are Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist), Mary of Nazareth (mother of Jesus), Mary Magdalene, Martha and Mary of Bethany, and the unnamed Samaritan woman from the gospel of John. Helpful footnotes ground these fictional retellings in biblical scholarship.
Luter, Boyd and Kathy McReynolds, Women as Christ's Disciples. Baker, 1997. (208 p., $11.99).
The authors present themselves as "traditional, evangelical Christians" who seek to affirm the models many New Testament women supply of active, leadership roles in the church. They identify biblical criteria of discipleship and discuss the New Testament women who fulfill them, among them Mary mother of Jesus, Elizabeth and Anna, Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, and the Samaritan woman at the well. They conclude that such discipleship roles for women as witness, prophet, and teacher are consistent with more traditional roles of wife, mother, and helper.
Mackall, Dandi Daley. Kindred Sisters: New Testament Women Speak to Us Today. Augsburg, 1996. (160 p., $12.99)
Under four broad categories--Wise Women, Changed Women, Courageous Women, Enterprising Women--Mackall presents the stories of New Testament women as springboards for contemporary reflection and meditation. Under the heading, "Courageous Women," the author includes Mary Magdalene, Salome (wife of Zebedee), Joanna, Susanna, and Pilate's wife.
Martini, Carlo. Women in the Gospels. Crossroad, 1990. (135 p., $9.95)
Martini is the Catholic archbishop of Milan. This book comprises meditations and homilies delivered before nuns of his archdiocese on retreat. Taking for his touchstone the image of Mary at the foot of the cross , the archbishop interprets 11 gospel passages that feature women around Jesus: Matt 15:21-28, 19:23-30, 20:20-23, 22:1-14; Luke 1:26-38, 1:39-47, 2:41-52, 7:36-50, 10:38-42; and John 2:1-12 and 20:11-18.
Moltmann-Wendel, Elisabeth. Women around Jesus. Crossroad, 1982. (160 p., $14.95).
Moltmann-Wendel, a scholar trained in Germany, teaches at Tubingen. Her aim here is to draw the women of the New Testament out from their customarily hidden roles, even to the point of revealing them "and not the disciples [as] the real followers of Jesus." This popularly written book offers portraits of Martha, Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, the woman who anointed Jesus, and Joanna (Luke 24:1-11).
Pearson, Helen Bruch. Do What You Have the Power to Do?: Studies of Six New Testament Women. Upper Room, 1992. (168 p., $9.95)
Pearson, an ordained UCC minister, hopes with this book to aid and inspire active life in church and society. The book is designed for use in group contexts of spiritual formation and personal growth. Each chapter reflects on one of six unnamed biblical women, retells her story more fully, poses questions, and concludes with an experimental liturgy. The six women are: the one who anoints Jesus (Mk 14:3-9); the one bent over (Lk 13:10-17); the one seeking to eat with Jesus (Matt 15:21-28); the one who breaks a curse (Mk 5:25-34); the one who nearly dies (Jn 7:53-8:11); and the one who hauls water (Jn 4:1-30, 39-42).
Praeder, Susan Marie. The Word in Women's Worlds: Four Parables. Michael Glazier, 1988. (120 p., out of print).
Praeder studies four of Jesus' parables--of leaven (Matt 13:33), lost coin (Lk 15:8-10), judge and widow (Lk 18:1-18), ten maidens (Matt 25:1-13)--for what they reveal about the social position of women in ancient Palestine. By situating the women of these parables in the context of ancient bread-making, coinage, legal proceedings, and celebration practices, she provides a richer picture of what life must have been like for the women who knew Jesus.
Saunders, Ross. She Has Washed My Feet with Tears: New Testament Stories of Women's Faith & Rebellion. Ulysses Pr, 1998. (157 p., $18.95)
Saunders is an Australian Anglican priest who often addresses lay audiences. In this popularly written book he lists and comments upon all New Testament passages in which women question, challenge, or assume for themselves authoritative roles customarily reserved for men. Stories from the gospels, which Saunders believes radically improved upon ancient women's status, receive the longest chapter. An appendix cites verses in the canonical and apocryphal New Testament that present faithfully rebellious women.
Schottroff, Luise. Let the Oppressed Go Free. Westminster, 1993. (208 p., $29.95)
This book gathers essays by a leading New Testament scholar in Germany. Among the issues discussed are equality of status among Jesus' male and female disciples, and the leadership roles the women disciples filled in the early church. Schottroff especially critiques the view that Jesus freed Jewish women from the binding sex roles of ancient Judaism, arguing that Jewish women in Jesus' time enjoyed more freedom than is credited them. Specific women discussed are: the anointing woman (Lk 7:36-50), Mary mother of Jesus (Lk 1:26-33), and Mary Magdalene (Mk 15:40-16:8).
Selvidge, Marla. Daughters of Jerusalem. Herald Pr, 1987. (172 p., $9.95)
Bible scholar Marla Selvidge here offers an introductory reading of women's roles in the synoptic gospels. Highlighting the importance of women to the unfolding of the gospel story, Selvidge notes that "the women traditions preserve reminiscences of courageous lives".
Spencer, Aida. Beyond the Curse. Hendrickson, 1989. (237 p., $11.95)
The "curse" of the title is the curse on Eve that descends on her in wake of her and Adam's Fall. Spencer sees in Jesus an attempt to restore "God's original intention at creation for women's full participation in the public tasks of life". The purpose of the book is to plumb those parts of the New Testament that endorse leadership roles for women in the church. Chapter two focuses on Jesus' relations with women, inviting them to learn from him and to serve as his disciples. Other chapters discuss positions of authority occupied by early church women, and feminine imagery for God.
The Storyteller's Companion to the Bible: New Testament Women, ed. by Dennis Smith. Abingdon, 1999. (208 p., $18.00)
The Storyteller's Companion is a series of books published by Abingdon Press designed to help preachers, teachers, and laity retell biblical narrative, poetry, and proverb in more personal story form. Each volume cites biblical passages, examines their historical context, and offers a modern retelling. The volume on New Testament women presents, contextualizes, and retells the stories of, among others: Elizabeth, Mary mother of Jesus, Anna, Mary Magdalene, Peter's mother-in-law, Salome, Martha and Mary, Justa, and many of the unnamed women who appear in the gospels.
Thurston, Anne. Knowing Her Place: Gender and the Gospels. Paulist, 1998. (127 p., $12.95)
A popular workshop leader in Ireland, Thurston has academic training in literature and theology. She reads familiar New Testament stories "against the grain" for new meanings they may disclose about women's roles in ancient and modern times. She draws particular attention to briefly cited women, more present in their absence, such as the five women Matthew lists in his genealogy of Jesus. Others discussed include the hemorrhaging woman of Mark 5:21-43, the possessed woman of Matt. 15:20-28, and the woman who confronted Peter (Mark 14:66-72).
Thurston, Bonnie. Women in the New Testament: Questions and Commentary. Crossroad, 1998. (162 p., $14.95)
Thurston, an ordained Disciples of Christ minister, teaches New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She offers here a clear and readable introduction to selected passages on women in the New Testament. She examines the passages chronologically, according to their date of writing, sets them in their literary and cultural context, and asks of them such critical questions as: who benefited by transmitting them and what do they fail to transmit? The overviews of the gospels are very helpful but, regrettably, omit any discussion of Matthew.
Von Speyer, Adrienne. Three Women and the Lord. Ignatius, 1986. (115 p., $8.95).
Three women of the New Testament--Mary Magdalene, the woman who washed Jesus' feet, and Mary of Bethany--here model, respectively, the three great virtues enumerated by St. Paul: faith, hope, and love. The meditative readings of the women and their virtues proceed as commentary on the following verses: Lk 8:2-3, Mk 15:40-1, Jn 19:25, Mk 15:47-16:1, Mk 16:4 (and parallels), Lk 7:36-50, Lk 10:38-42, Jn 12:1-8.
Watley, William D. and Suzan D. Johnson Cook. Preaching in Two Voices: Sermons on Women in Jesus' Life. Judson, 1992. (118 p., $12.00)
Two African-American pastors (one male, one female) collect here in one volume their sermons on women around Jesus. Watley is African Methodist Episcopal; Cook is Baptist. Eight sermons by each pastor are paired, according to their common focus on a woman of the New Testament: Anna, the Samaritan woman, the hemorrhaging woman, Salome, Martha, Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and Mary mother of Jesus.
Watson, Elizabeth. Wisdom's Daughters: Stories of Women around Jesus. Pilgrim, 1997. (167 p., $12.95)
Writer and workshop-leader Elizabeth Watson tells the story of Jesus' life from the perspectives of 14 different biblical women, beginning with Elizabeth, and ending with Mary, mother of Jesus. Assuming the voice of each woman in succession, Watson pieces their perspectives together into a narrative whole. At the end of each chapter, Watson resumes her own voice, commenting on the part of Jesus' life she has just told, and offering questions for reflection. The chapters were first presented as part of a course the author taught at the Quaker Adult Study Center, Woodbrooke College, Birmingham, England.
Witherington, Ben. Women and the Genesis of Christianity. Cambridge Univ Pr, 1990. (289 p., $19.95)
This is a condensed, somewhat popularized version of two other books by Witherington: Women in the Ministry of Jesus [see below] and Women in the Earliest Churches. Part I supplies the Jewish, Hellenistic, and Roman context for discussion; pt. II discusses Jesus' teachings on women, through parable and story, his healings of women, and several key women in his ministry (Mary his mother, Martha and Mary, Mary Magdalene). Part III treats Paul's letters. Part IV, which features the gospel of Luke, compares the evangelists on their attitudes towards women. For Witherington, Luke presents the most generally sympathetic account of women; John goes furthest to feature a few key women as models of mature faith; Matthew and Mark show less interest in women's role in Jesus' story.
Witherington, Ben. Women in the Ministry of Jesus: A Study of Jesus' Attitudes to Women and Their Roles as Reflected in his Earthly Life. Cambridge Univ Pr, 1984 (236 p., $21.95)
This was originally a doctoral dissertation presented to the University of Durham, England. The author discusses: the ancient Jewish and near eastern background to women's roles in the New Testament; Jesus' teachings on women as reflected in his parables and sayings; Jesus' acts of healing and forgiving women; and specific women, such as Mary and Martha, or groups of women, such as those mentioned in Luke 8:1-3 and Mark 15:40-1. He concludes that Jesus' teachings and acts worked to expand the public role of women in the ancient world.
Women on the Way with Jesus: Feminist Perspectives on the Bible, by Gerald Caron, and others. Liturgical Press, 2000. (232 p., $24.95)
The essays offered here were first presented as scholarly papers to an international conference of the Catholic Association of Biblical Studies in Canada. These challenging essays show feminist theory in both dialogue and dispute with the Bible. Topics addressed include the social condition of women in the ancient world, the hypothetical "Q document" of Jesus' sayings, and the authority of the Bible under feminist scrutiny. Included is an analysis of the New Testament sections in the Women's Bible Commentary [see above].
Deutsch, Celia. Lady Wisdom, Jesus, and the Sages: Metaphor and Social Context in Matthew's Gospel. Trinity, 1996. (260 p., $20.00)
Deutsch presents wisdom as a female image that the New Testament writers inherited from ancient Judaism. Wisdom does not specifically appear personified in Matthew, but Jesus does take on many of her key features: teacher, prophet, hymnist, parent. Deutsch argues that Matthew incorporates the proverbial figure of Lady Wisdom into the person of Jesus, in order to lend his teachings weight among Jews in ancient Palestine.
Wainwright, Elaine Mary. Shall we Look for Another? A Feminist Rereading of the Matthean Jesus. Orbis, 1998. (178 p., $18.00)
Wainwright examines how Matthew's presentation of biblical women's perceptions, influenced by the cultural backgrounds of the ancient Jewish and Hellenistic worlds, shape his portrait of Christ. Jesus emerges not as "lone hero, but always in relation to other characters." For her readings through women's eyes, Wainwright focuses on a few key verses: Matt 1-2; 11; 15:21-28; 16:13-20; 27:32-28:20.
Kinukawa, Hisako. Women and Jesus in Mark. Orbis, 1994. (156 p., out of print)
Kinukawa probes the New Testament for mutual influences between Jesus and his women disciples. She shows the impact of their discipleship on their standing in the early church and ancient Palestinian society. She specifically considers: the hemorrhaging woman (5:25-34), the Syrophoenician woman ( 7:24-30), the poor widow (12:41-44), the anointing woman (14:3-9), the groups of women disciples (15:40-41, 47), and the women at the tomb (16:1-8). The particular interest of her study lies in the comparisons she draws between women's status in the "honor cultures" of ancient Palestine and modern Japan (and the religions that underlie modern Japanese culture: Buddhism, Shinto, and Confucianism.)
Selvidge, Marla J. Women, Cult and Miracle Recital: A Redactional-Critical Investigation of Mark 5:24-34. Bucknell Univ Pr, 1990. (160 p., $22.50)
The story of the hemorrhaging woman in Mark provides the focus for this scholarly study of Mark's attitudes towards women. The author surveys the history of interpretation of Mark 5:24-34, considers the background of the story in Jewish and Hellenistic cult practices, and presents, in conclusion, the Markan take on the hemorrhaging woman: she was a worthy member of the new community Mark saw gathering around Jesus, a model of perseverance ("a woman who would not give up"), a healer, teacher, and voice for the burgeoning Christian community.
Arlandson, James Malcolm. Women, Class and Society in Early Christianity: Models from Luke-Acts. Hendrickson, 1999. (238 p., $24.95)
This scholarly study assesses the impact of social class on the women of the New Testament, who ranged in position from slave to wealthy landowner. The book also considers ways Jesus' message and behavior affected their status.
Dornisch, Loretta. A Woman Reads the Gospel of Luke. Liturgical Press, 1996. (232 p., $19.95)
By opening up the perspectives from which the gospels can be read, Dornisch believes a distinctly women's voice can be heard behind the various literary personas that figure in the gospels. Luke in particular helps raise such questions as: do 20th century women hear the gospel stories differently from men, and from the biblical women who knew Jesus 2000 years ago? Dornisch reads Luke's gospel with four voices in mind: Luke's own, the narrative voice that Luke incorporates within his stories, the voices of the women who speak in the stories, and modern women's voices.
Reid, Barbara. Choosing the Better Part? Women in the Gospel of Luke. Liturgical Press, 1996. (245 p., $17.95)
Reid teaches New Testament at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She explains her interest in Luke on grounds that this gospel contains more stories about women than any other, but cautions that Luke's tone towards women is not uniformly positive. Employing diverse interpretive tools, including both historical-critical and feminist-liberationist methods, she examines all the passages in Luke that feature women characters.
Carse, James P. The Gospel of the Beloved Disciple. HarperSanFrancisco, 1997. (144 p., $13.00)
Carse, formerly religion professor at New York University, retells the gospel story from the imagined standpoint of the Samaritan woman, whom Jesus meets at the well in John 4:7-42. This unnamed woman, presented here as "the beloved disciple", remembers Jesus' life from a standpoint of close friendship. Carse's imaginative retelling draws on his knowledge of the ancient biblical world, and of Jewish story-telling (midrashic) techniques.
Fehribach, Adeline. The Women in the Life of the Bridegroom: Feminist Historical-Literary Analysis of the Female Characters in the Fourth Gospel. Liturgical Press, 1998. (222 p., $19.95)
Fehribach, who teaches religion at Spalding University, employs literary and feminist interpretive methods to uncover attitudes towards women in the gospel of John. Though John tells some of the longest gospel narratives about women, the role he assigns them, says Fehribach, is subordinate to men, calculated to bring out the finer features of the male characters. Fehribach suggests ways of reading John that counter his biases. The women discussed are Mary, mother of Jesus, the Samaritan woman, Mary and Martha of Bethany, and Mary Magdalene.
Maccini, Robert G. Her Testimony is True: Women as Witnesses according to John. Sheffield Academic Pr, 1994. (228 p., $70.00)
This book, based on a Ph.D. dissertation, examines the extent to which women in John's gospel function effectively as witnesses to Christ's messiahship. Maccini argues that women in this gospel function less as specially selected receptors of Christ, than as expected parts of the social background of Jesus' actions at weddings, funerals, meals, and wells. The exception is Mary Magdalene, whom he believes serves as an indispensable witness of Christ's divine status, not only for the other disciples, but for the gospel reader as well.
McKinlay, Judith E. Gendering Wisdom the Host: Biblical Invitations to Eat and Drink. Sheffield, 1996. (280 p., $8.50)
The starting point for this scholarly study are the passages in Proverbs that present wisdom as a woman inviting her listeners to a feast. However, two of the chapters specifically discuss the impact of this wisdom tradition on Jesus' relation with women in the gospel of John. Verses analyzed include: John 2-1-12; 4:4-42; 11:1-45; 12:1-8; 19:25-27; 20:1-18.
Balasuriya, Tissa. Mary and Human Liberation. Trinity, 1997. (262 p., $20.00)
This controversial book was the occasion for its author, a Sri Lankan Catholic priest, to be excommunicated by Vatican authorities. The book distances Mary from ideals of obedience through which she has often been admired, and revisions her as revolutionary. It also questions some of the traditional teachings which the veneration of her has presupposed, for example, the doctrine of original sin (from which she and her son were exempted). The book includes an account of Balasuriya's struggles with Vatican officials.
Bojarge, Horacio. The Image of Mary according to the Evangelists. Alba, 1978. (61 p., $4.00)
This little book emphasizes by its title the different perspectives on Mary given in the gospels. The author carefully examines the gospel passages on Mary for differences in theological and biographical emphasis: Mark presents the oldest and simplest account of Mary; Matthew emphasizes Davidic descent; Luke stresses Mary's joy at the annunciation; and John looks to Mary for the witness she provides to Christ's divinity.
Carroll, Michael P. Cult of the Virgin Mary: Psychological Origins. Princeton Univ Pr, 1986. (270 p., $17.95)
Sociologist Michael Carroll here brings Freudian analysis to bear on a study of the origins of Marian devotion. By looking at the foundations of Mary's cult in personal and social psychology, he nicely complements Warner's book [see below] on the history of the cult. With his thesis that Mary's popularity stems "primarily from the fact that she is a mother goddess dissociated from sexuality," he hopes to explain why Marian worship flourishes where it does (for example, in Italy and Spain), and why it sometimes languishes (as now, still in the wake of Vatican II, which minimized Mary).
Cunneen, Sally. In Search of Mary: The Woman and the Symbol. Ballantine, 1996. (416 p., $14.00)
This ecumenically spirited study of Mary, by Sally Cunneen (who sits on the editorial board of the interreligious Cross Currents magazine), follows the history of Mary and Mariology from the New Testament to modern times. She underscores those aspects of Mary that align with her with the prophetic traditions of Hebrew scripture, and with modern traditions of women's equality so that, for example, Mary's virginity can stand less for sexual purity than for moral autonomy. The book is enriched by the testimony of Catholics who practice Marian devotions, and others religiously moved by the portrayal of Mary in Christian art.
Gaventa, Beverly. Mary: Glimpses of the Mother of Jesus. Fortress, 1995. (176 p., $18.00)
Gaventa, professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, observes that her book on Mary is one of the few written from a Protestant perspective. She focuses on the biblical Mary of Matthew, Luke and John, noting how briefly she is treated by the three evangelists, and yet with what subtle differences. That contrasts with the central role Mary occupies in the Protevangelium of James, a non-canonical 2d century text that tells her life from conception to motherhood. Out of the four texts, Gaventa extracts three qualities they all assign to Mary: vulnerability, reflectivity, and witness to Christ.
Gebara, Ivone and Bingemer, Maria. Mary: Mother of God, Mother of the Poor. Orbis, 1989. (200 p., $17.00)
The authors discuss Mary from the perspective of Latin American women's devotional life. Grounding itself in the biblical accounts of Mary, the book re-evaluates the traditional Catholic dogmas about Mary--her virginity, her assumption, her status as mother of God. It concludes by discussing such distinctly Latin American Mariological figures as Our Lady of Guadalupe, and their witness to the needs of the poor.
Greeley, Andrew. The Mary Myth: On the Femininity of God. HarperSanFrancisco, 1984. (240 p., $10.45)
Controversial sociologist and priest Andrew Greeley here argues that the church's story of Mary is pregnant with meaning for our own lives. Taking up the not entirely original view that, in Mary, the church offers its faithful a much-needed feminine aspect of God to worship, he considers the traditional figure of her under four aspects: Madonna, Virgo, Sponsa (bride of God), and Pieta (sorrowing mother of dead son). Greeley draws support for his presentation of Mary from examples of poetry and art, which judiciously punctuate the text.
Hock, Ronald F. Life of Mary and Birth of Jesus: Ancient Infancy Gospel of James. Ulysses, 1997. (104 p., $16.00)
This is the text of a 2d century, noncanonical gospel, purportedly written by Jesus' brother, James. The gospel tells Mary's life from her birth to Jesus'. Because the gospel presents James as Jesus' biological brother, and so indirectly undermines the idea of the virgin birth, it was declared unacceptable by ancient church authorities, though it served church artists for centuries as a source of stories about Mary. The text is here translated in full, and introduced by Ronald Hock, professor of religion at University of Southern California.
John Paul II, Pope. Mary, God's Yes to Man: Encyclical Letter of John Paul II. Ignatius Pr., 1987. (179 p., $9.95)
When John Paul II declared 1987 a Marian Year, devoted to deeper Catholic reflection on Mary, mother of Jesus, he also issued the encyclical, Redemptoris Mater, "Mother of the Redeemer," the text of which is given here. The pope's reflections on Mary include extended sections on her role in the gospels. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar provide commentary.
Ludemann, Gerd. Virgin Birth? The Real Story of Mary and her Son Jesus. Trinity, 1998. (160 p., $20.00)
Ludemann, a controversial professor of New Testament at the University of Gottingen, in Germany, challenges traditional church teachings on Mary and Jesus. After briefly rehearsing Catholic and Protestant dogma on Mary, he critically examines all the biblical verses that allude to Mary (including those in two noncanonical sources: the Gospel of Thomas and the Protevangelium of James), in hopes of unpacking a view of her free of ecclesiastical teaching. His provocative results include the claim that Mary, having borne Jesus naturally, out of wedlock, became the object of mendacious theologizing that served the interests of the early church but that ultimately obscured her real person.
Macquarrie, John. Mary for all Christians. T & T Clark, 1990. (160 p., $12.95).
Macquarrie is a distinguished British scholar of systematic theology. Noting the broad spectrum of attitudes among Christians towards Mary, he sets himself the task of providing an ecumenical interpretation of her. He considers both her biblical and her dogmatic image, in the doctrines of the immaculate conception, the glorious assumption, and coredemptrix. The book closes with a liturgy structured around Mary's famous response to the Annunication, the Magnificat.
Mary According to Women. Ed by Mary Jegen. Sheed and Ward, 1985. (163 p., $7.95)
This book collects papers from a conference honoring the 150th anniversary of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, founders of Mundelein College in Chicago. The essays address applications of Marian devotion and theology to contemporary social concerns, such as new ministries to women, and problems of justice, peace, and liberation in the modern world. Also addressed is Mary's status among Catholics as Patroness of the United States. Contributors are all members of the order, several of them distinguished scholars.
Mary in the Churches, ed. by Hans Kueng and Juergen Moltmann. (Concilium, no. 168). Harper, 1983. (128 p., $6.95).
Under Catholic sponsorship, the Concilium series gathers ecumenical essays on diverse topics. This wide-ranging volume on Mary includes contributions on: Mary in the New Testament; an alternative model of relationship to Jesus, namely friendship, that Mary Magdalene provides; a Jewish view of Mary; Mariological teachings from Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant traditions; Mary's role in evangelization in Latin America; and her applications to feminist theology, depth psychology, and German literature. The international assembly of contributing scholars include Elisabeth Moltmann-Wendel (Germany), Virgule Elizondo (U.S), and Catharina Halkes (Netherlands).
Mary in the New Testament: A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars. Ed. by Raymond Brown, and others. Fortress, 1978. (323 p., $14.95)
This collaborative study was produced by a committee of biblical scholars in support of a Lutheran-Catholic dialogue on Mary. The committee included on the Catholic side Joseph Fitzmyer, and on the Protestant, Elaine Pagels. The scholars carefully examine the four gospels for differences in approach to Mary, as well as Paul and Revelation for possible references to her. Mark's negative picture of Mary contrasts with the fuller pictures the other evangelists give of her role in Jesus' ministry and at the foot of the cross. A concluding chapter reviews New Testament evidences for her virginity.
Mary, Woman of Nazareth: Biblical and Theological Perspectives. Ed. by Doris Donnelly. Paulist, 1989. (188 p., out of print)
This book collects papers delivered at a conference on Mariology, held at St Mary's College, in Notre Dame, Indiana. Noting the "dormition" of Mary in Catholic circles since Vatican II, the editor celebrates the book as a contribution to the Marian Year that John Paul II declared 1987 to be. The nine wide-ranging essays address such topics as: Gospel portraits of Mary, Marian cult, and the application of Marian images to justice, peace, evangelization, and work with the poor. Among the distinguished contributing scholars are Pheme Perkins, Donald Senior, and Elisabeth Johnson.
Norris, Kathleen. Meditations on Mary. Viking, 1999 (111 p. $19.95)
Noted essayist Kathleen Norris here brings her poetic gifts to the subject of Mary, mother of Jesus. In six short meditations, she ponders the status of Jesus' mother and key events in her life (Annunication, Incarnation, Assumption). Equal to the beauty of the writing are the sumptuously reproduced paintings of the Virgin Mary, from such perennially favorite artists as Fra Angelico, Giovanni Bellini, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, and Titian.
Pelikan, Jaroslav. Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture. Yale University Press, 1996. (267 p., $14.00)
Renowned Yale historian, Jaroslav Pelikan, traces attitudes towards Mary, mother of Jesus, across time and through a variety of cultures, from the New Testament itself to medieval Byzantium, Renaissance England, and romantic Germany. Noting the few biblical verses on which the honor paid her rests, he shows how different cultures shaped their view of her, whether as woman of valor, chastity, or exceptionality, to express their own religious ideals. Color reproductions of artworks illustrate the text.
Schillebeeckx, Edward and Halkes, Catherina. Mary: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. Crossroad, 1993. (88 p., $9.95)
Two eminent Dutch Catholic theologians recount the evolution of their thoughts on Mary since Vatican II. Mariology went into decline after the Council, in reaction to what appeared to many thoughtful Catholics as excesses in pre-Vatican II devotional life. But with the passage of years, both Schillebeeckx and Halkes have found new ways back to Marian devotion. Schillebeeckx reflects within the tradition of Vatican II theology; while the larger context for Halkes' essay, entitled "Mary in My Life," are recent trends in feminist theology.
Tavard, George. The Thousand Faces of the Virgin Mary. Liturgical Pr, 1996. (275 p., $19.95)
This highly readable and ecumenical book, which emerged from classes taught on Mary, surveys the history of the diverse interpretations Jesus' mother. The diversity shows itself across the forms of religious life--in theology, worship, art, mystical experience--and across the boundaries of different religious traditions: Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim. A concluding chapter relates Mary to female personifications of the divine in Asian religions. Tavard shows Mary to hold tensions in balance: she is simultaneously poor woman of Nazareth, model of discipleship, and channel of divine presence.
Warner, Marina. Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary. Knopf, 1983. (400 p., $19.00)
This popularly written work by journalist Marina Warner examines the cult of Mary across the centuries under five main headings: Virgin, Queen, Bride, Mother, and Intercessor. Noting that Mary is one of the few women of Western history to attain the status of myth, Warner holds in balance what she sees as the dual heritage of that cult: a deep source of spiritual comfort, and a subtle degrading of both women and men. Reproductions of illustrative art works featuring Mary accompany the text.
De Boer, Esther. Mary Magdalene: Beyond the Myth. Trinity, 1997. (176 p., $15.00)
De Boer is a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in Holland. In this study, engagingly written for both lay and clergy readers, she attempts to shear Mary Magdalene of all the medieval accretions to her story and character. Focusing on the four gospels, the church fathers, noncanonical gospels and, most especially, the gnostic Gospel of Mary, she discovers in Mary Magdalene a "courageous and persistent disciple" of Jesus who, after his death, carried out her own apostolate.
Haskins, Susan. Mary Magdalene: Myth and Metaphor. Berkley, 1997. (528 p., $16.00)
This magisterial work traces the image of Mary Magdalene through the history of Western Europe and shows the full scope of attitudes and associations this figure has evoked. Haskins study ranges over ancient gnostic tracts, medieval devotional literature, romantic painters, and such 19th century organs as Magdalene's Friend and Female Homes' Intelligencer, "devoted," in its own words, "to the cause of Fallen Women." Haskins concludes with images of Mary Magdalene in our own times, in such modern works of literature as Kazantzakis' controversial novel, The Last Temptation of Christ.
Jansen, Katherine Ludwig. The Making of the Magdalen: Preaching and Popular Devotion in the Later Middle Ages. Princeton University Press, 2000 (332 p., $39.50)
Jansen teaches history at Catholic University. In this scholarly work, she examines the transformation of the biblical Mary Magdalen into one of the most popular saints of the Middle Ages. It was the late medieval preachers of the mendicant orders who transformed the received wisdom on Mary Magdalen, that she was a prostitute, into a picture of perfect penance--an image that survives to this day.
Maisch, Ingrid. Mary Magdalene: The Image of a Woman Through the Centuries. Liturgical Pr, 1998. (208 p., $19.95)
German scholar Maisch here traces the history of interpretations of Mary Magdalene, especially as they have appeared in German-speaking cultures. Her study includes the New Testament, medieval mystics, baroque and romantic poets, painters, and dramatists, among them Angelus Silesius, Clemens Brentano, and Freidrich Hebbel. She tries to show how, behind each age's representation of Mary Magdalene, stands its own attitudes towards women in general.
Marjanen, Antti. The Woman Jesus Loved: Mary Magdalen in the Nag Hammadi Library and Related Documents. Brill, 1996. (261 p., $92.00)
This Ph.D. dissertation will interest readers who wish to explore the amplification of Mary of Magdala in the noncanonical gospels of 2d and 3d century gnostic Christianity. Marjanen examines the treatment of Mary in several of the gnostic gospels, including the Gospel of Mary, Pistis Sophia, and Gospel of Thomas. He notes that in these works Mary of Magdala is typically seen as among the most intimate disciples of Jesus. That she sometimes appears in conflict with male leaders, such as Peter, suggests that some of these gospels were written in support of women struggling for leadership roles in early Christian gnostic communities.
Rabanus Maurus, Abp of Mainz, 784?-856, The Life of St. Mary Magdalene and of Her Sister Martha, translated and annotated by David Mycoff. Cistercian Publications, 1989. (166 p., $15.95)
The medieval church identified Mary Magalene with both Mary of Bethany and the unnamed penitent woman of Luke 7:36-50. As editor David Mycoff observes, this produced a character dear to the medieval heart, for she combined sin, penitence, and contemplation all in one. The legend translated here, which was very popular in the Middle Ages, continues her life after Christ's ascension. Though ascribed to Rabanus Maurus, an early medieval bishop, this work is now attributed to an anonymous, 12th century follower of St. Bernard.
Ricci, Carla. Mary Magdalene and Many Others: Women who Followed Jesus. Fortress, 1994. (237 p., $20.00)
On a quest for knowledge of the women of the New Testament who personally accompanied Jesus on his journeys, Ricci finds her starting point in Luke 8:1-3, a text largely ignored in the history of biblical interpretation. Mary Magdalene heads this and several other New Testament lists of women disciples, and so she accordingly figures prominently in Ricci's research. Ricci reevaluates the traditional view of Mary Magalene as prostitute, and, through careful textual interpretation, examines Jesus' relation to other women. An appendix compares references to women in the four gospels.
Thompson, Mary. Mary of Magdala: Apostle and Leader. Paulist, 1995. (160 p., $12.95)
Thompson distinguishes the biblical Mary of Magdala from the picture of the penitent prostitute constructed by the western medieval church. What stands out about her in the New Testament is that she leads lists of women followers of Jesus. Thompson suspects that her name figures prominently because she was too well-known in the early church to be suppressed by the male gospel writers. Carefully examining passages from canonical and noncanonical gospels, and marshaling evidence for women's roles as leaders in the ancient world (among both Romans and Jews), Thompson concludes that Mary of Magdala was very likely a prominent leader in the early church.
Beaver, R. Pierce. All Loves Excelling: American Protestant Women in World Mission. Wipf & Stock, 1998. (228 p., $23.00)
One of the first academic histories of women's roles in American Protestant foreign mission, this classic text first appeared in 1968 and was recently reissued. Beaver, who was professor of missions at the University of Chicago Divinity School, offers a cross-denominational history of women missionaries and missionary boards, including those of the Methodist Church. A four-part index accesses the body of the text by personal name, place name, organization, and subject.
Born, Ethel. By My Spirit: The Story of Methodist Protestant Women in Mission, 1879-1939. Women's Division of General Board of Global Ministries, 1990. (196 p., $3.95)
This book chronicles the story of lay women's key roles in the missionary work of the Methodist Protestant Church, one of the predecessor bodies of the United Methodist Church. Born shows that women spearheaded the denomination's foreign missionary work, outstripping the men in that regard. The forced merger of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society with the denominational board in 1929 taught the women the arts of co-ed cooperation, preparing them for the larger merger that constituted, in 1939, the Methodist Church.
Gagan, Rosemary Ruth. A Sensitive Independence: Methodist Women Missionaries in Canada and the Orient, 1881-1925. McGill-Queens Univ Pr., 1992. (281 p., $65.00)
Based on a PhD dissertation, this scholarly work focuses on the organizational and personal lives of the women who served in the Women's Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada. Over 300 women from the Society were stationed in Asia or Canada around the turn of the last century. Noting that missionary work offered women an alternative to the traditional roles prescribed for them, Gagan considers how issues of recruitment, vocation, and acculturation played out in their lives.
Gendered Missions: Women and Men in Missionary Discourse and Practice. Univ of Michigan Pr, 1999. (272 p., $47.50)
These scholarly papers examine the relation between the ethics of empire-building, from 1875 to 1914, and assumptions about gender in missionary work during the same time. The authors suggest that the extreme conditions under which male and female missionaries labored worked to undermine western norms governing relations between the sexes. The mission fields discussed are Africa, New Guinea and Sumatra, and , though the denominations represented (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed) do not include Methodists, the issues raised bear on the whole of the missionary enterprise.
Hidden Journey: Missionary Heroines in Many Lands. Ed. by Lavinia Byrne. SPCK, 1993. (243 p., out of print)
At the time of writing, Lavinia Byrne was associate secretary for the Community of Men and Women in the Church of the Council of Churches of Britain and Ireland. This book is an annotated anthology of writings of women missionaries from the past two centuries, spanning the gamut of British denominations. The women cited are listed, with brief biographical data, at the back of the book. Among the Methodist women included are Dorothy Jones (1802-1859), Grace Ovenden (1915-1955), and Isabella Thoburn.
Hill, Patricia Ruth. The World Their Household: The American Woman's Foreign Mission Movement and Cultural Transformation, 1870-1920. Univ of Michigan, 1985. (Books on Demand, $68.70).
The cultural significance of women's missionary movements is evident from this bare fact: the interdenominational women's foreign missionary movement was the largest women's mass movement in the 19th century. Hill shows how the ideal of the woman missionary changed. Conceived at first as the evangelizing presence most likely to reach the mothers of pagan cultures, the woman missionary in time evolved into a skilled professional. This change in turn reflects changes in the social roles of women in American culture. Hill traces the gradual absorption of the interdenominational women's mission societies by the mission boards of the separate denominations (Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist).
Montgomery, Helen Barrett. Western Women in Eastern Lands. Garland, 1988. (236 p., out of print)
First published in 1910, this interdenominational survey of women's missionary work in east and south Asia sold over 100,000 copies when it first appeared. Reissued in 1988, it is once again out of print. Montgomery was herself an eminent presence in Baptist missions, but her chronicle here, written for the Central Committee on the United Study of Foreign Missions (an ecumenical publisher of mission studies) includes sections on Methodist missionary boards and personnel as well. The book evokes the mood of the missionary spirit among women nearly 100 years ago.
Robert, Dana L. American Women in Mission: A Social History of their Thought and Practice. Mercer, 1997. (458 p., $30.00)
Noting scholarly neglect of American women's roles in mission work, Robert provides a magisterial social history of the topic that spans the denominations. Part of her thesis is that women missionaries, while participating in the spread of distinctly Euro-American values, at the same time paved the way for subversions of Western hegemonies in other parts of the globe. A chapter on women missionaries in the Methodist Episcopal Church, from 1860 to 1939, examines the rise of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society, women's contribution to Methodist higher education, and such missionary notables as Isabella Thoburn and Clara Swain.
Schmidt, Jean. Grace Sufficient: A History of Women in American Methodism, 1760-1968. Abingdon, 1999. (374 p., $30.00)
Schmidt, who teaches church history at Iliff School of Theology, carefully combs primary sources (diaries, letters, unpublished autobiographies) for the inner and outer history of women in American Methodism. She traces women's rise to prominence in preaching, evangelizing, and social reform, and their acceptance into roles as deacons and clergy. An index cites sections on women's ministry in home and foreign missions.
Spirituality & Social Responsibility: Vocational Vision of Women in the United Methodist Tradition, ed. by Rosemary Skinner Keller. Abingdon, 1993. (336 p. $19.00)
Fifteen writers collaborate to produce a portrait of women's contributions to American Methodism from Revolutionary times to our own day. As the lives of such women as Amanda Berry Smith, Joanne Carlson Brown, Ida Wells-Barnett, Katherine Bushnell, and Mary Fletcher Scranton (among many others) are told, the boundaries between personal devotion, evangelism, mission, and social reform begin to blur. The women emerge as models of holistic commitment to Christian ideals.
They Went Out not Knowing: An Encyclopedia of 100 Women in Mission. Women's Division, Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church, 1986. (54 p., out of print)
United Methodist Women conceived this book as part of their Centennial Celebration, in 1985. It offers short paragraph-long biographies, many accompanied by photo portraits, of 100 Methodist women who served in missionary causes between 1869 (when the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church was founded) and 1985. The women exemplify a variety of mission styles, from "risk-takers and change-agents" to "mentors and enablers," and include both famous missionaries and the less well-known.
Women in New Worlds: Historical Perspectives on the Wesleyan Tradition. Ed. by Rosemary Skinner Keller, Louise L. Queen, and Hilah F. Thomas. Abingdon, 1981-1982. (2 volumes, out of print)
These volumes collect scholarly papers delivered at the Women in New Worlds conference held in Cincinnati in Feb. 1980, and sponsored by the Women's History Project of the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church. Though the scope of the articles is very broad, embracing both British and American Methodism, and ranging over such issues as race, ethnicity, authority, education, and social reform, several of the articles address specifically missionary concerns, such as cultural imperialism, and examine the lives of such notable Methodist women as Carrie Parks Johnson, Ann Hasseltine Judson, Amanda Berry Smith, and Charlotte Manye Maxeke.
Women's Work for Women: Missionaries and Social Change in Asia. Ed. by Leslie Flemming. Westview Pr, 1989. (174 p., out of print)
This collection of scholarly essays emerged from a panel convened by the National Association for Women's Studies. The highly focused essays examine the relation between evangelization and acculturation in India, China, and Japan. The missionaries discussed come from a cross-section of denominations. One chapter, by D. Robins-Mowry, is devoted to a Methodist missionary: Nannie B. Gaines, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, whose field was Hiroshima, Japan, and whose earnest educational efforts on behalf of Japanese women and girls represents an ideal of inter-cultural communication.
Woolever, Eloise A. In Daring Obedience. Woman's Division of Christian Service, Board of Missions, Methodist Church, 1964? (66 p., out of print)
Eloise Woolver was executive secretary of the Education and Cultivation Section of the Woman's Division of Christian Service, the predecessor body of the Women's Division within the General Board of Global Ministries of today's United Methodist Church. She offers here twelve biographies of Methodist women missionaries who came of age in the first half of the 20th century. The women include physicians, educators, artists, and writers, serving around the world in capacities that showed them to be "courageous, devoted, and resourceful". The short biographies include extensive quotations from the women themselves, and from friends who knew them well.
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