And Your Daughters Shall Prophesy: Stories from the Byways of American Women and Religion by Adrian Shirk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I didn't realize, at first, that this book would combine memoir with the stories of female religious leaders. For me, despite my love of the braided essay and so on, I am not sure the combination always works. It's true that the author writes about the female characters she has encountered at various points of her life, but her own story has more to do with dealing with mental illness in her family. It doesn't have as many connections to the religion stories as I would have liked.
That said, I enjoyed the religious sections very much. There are a few people in here you would expect to see - Aimee Semple McPherson, Sojourner Truth, etc., but several more I had never heard of and really enjoyed reading about. She extends outside the standard religions to include new-age practices, spiritualism, and mass market paperback astrologers. I really liked the inclusion of Eliza R. Snow and how her work for women in the early Mormon church, and how that connects to contemporary movements doing the same.
Adrian Shirk is very respectful of these characters, acknowledging their imperfections but letting those get in the way of recognizing their influence. So often a misstep or a rumor (or even a true story, ha) has served to dismiss these womens' contributions, and I liked her approach.
This would fit nicely on a shelf next to books on feminist theology, and I have quite a few that would hold it in good company.
I received a copy of this early from the publisher through Edelweiss, although by the time I finished it the book came out, on August 22.
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