During the past four decades, large numbers of women have entered ordained leadership positions in American religious bodies, resulting in changes in aspects of church life from liturgy and theology to pastoral leadership. At the same time, an explosion of scholarship about women in American religious history has demonstrated that women have always played important roles in shaping and even leading American religious institutions. This is so despite their lack of access to formal ordination, even though their roles were often undervalued by contemporaries and neglected by historians. The Westminster Handbook to Women in American Religious History
provides an affordable and accessible reference to over 750 outstanding individual women and womens organizations in American religious historyfor students, teachers, pastors, and scholars.
Susan Hill Lindley was Professor of Religion at St. Olaf’s College. She was the author of the landmark history You Have Stept Out of Your Place: A History of Women and Religion in America.
Eleanor J. Stebner holds the J. S. Woodsworth Chair in the Department of Humanities at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.