Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Articles and Reviews by Letha Dawson Scanzoni

One of the founders of EEWC, the organization that publishes Christian Feminism Today, Letha Dawson Scanzoni, was the editor of our print magazine, EEWC Update (later renamed Christian Feminism Today), for almost twenty years.  In addition, Letha served as editor of EEWC’s website after its establishment in 1998 until her retirement in 2015.

Letha coauthored the CFT blogs 72-27, and FemFaith.

During the more than four decades Letha has been involved in the organization, she wrote many important articles and reviews, several of which are available on Christian Feminism Today, and linked to below.

Rachel Held Evans

Rachel Held Evans — Reaching Across Generations

Rachel Held Evans "had doubts and questions that many in that religious subculture appeared not to think about or wouldn’t admit because of where such thinking might lead and how others would regard them."

When #MeToo and #TimesUp Came to Church

By January, 2018, #TimesUp, a related movement for empowerment was gaining ground, led in part by celebrities in the entertainment industries who wanted to call attention to lesser known grassroots activists who were doing amazing work for social justice
Christmas greenery and heart garland

A Post of Christmases Past

While Reta Halteman Finger, the author of our Reta’s Reflections Bible study blog, is taking some time off to be with family and friends,  we invite you to revisit two of her earlier Christmas reflections.

Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution

"So what is this revolution that’s happening before our eyes? It’s a movement away from top-down, pre-packaged religion toward a spirituality centered in an awareness of God’s presence as encountered in daily life—often in places and people where traditionally we have failed to recognize that holy presence."
White Fractal

Christian Feminism and LGBT Advocacy: Let’s Move Away from Slippery Slope Thinking

"The call for change is about acknowledging and honoring the dignity of whole categories of people who have been regarded as 'less than' or 'lower than' or 'unequal to' the privileged groups that determine who benefits from a society’s social arrangements and rewards. In other words, justice movements form in order to challenge the hierarchies that have been set up to keep whole groups of people 'in their place.'"

A Christian Feminist Remembers Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015)

"During those years, I purchased every book Elisabeth Elliot wrote, and each time I looked forward to the next one. Like many women of my generation, I considered her a role model, an example of what a strong, intelligent, confident, courageous Christian woman could be. "

What Can Christians Learn from the “Mystery Dress” Phenomenon?

"This is the most obvious lesson; yet it may be the hardest to accept. If we hear someway say, 'I just can’t see this the way you do,' it probably doesn’t occur to us that what they’re saying might be literally true! "

She Lives! — A New Book by Jann Aldredge-Clanton

"She Lives!" (the exclamation point is part of the title), helps us move beyond the limited gender binary to see God as both male and female, yet strictly speaking, neither male nor female, and at the same time inclusive of all gender identities.”

My First Encounter with Religious Doubt: The Day I Stopped Believing in Santa Claus

"I was trying so hard not to believe, yet I couldn’t let myself believe in my unbelief! Here I was, thinking Santa might not exist, but at the same time I was afraid he was angry with me for doubting his existence. I agonized over what to make of it all."

Becoming

"But something happens as she nears adolescence and her 'self-ownership is negated,' writes Hancock. “Suddenly, well before puberty, along comes the culture with the pruning shears, ruthlessly trimming back her spirit” (p. 18). Then, according to Hancock, “instead of crystallizing an identity during adolescence, women as adults reach back to girlhood to retrieve the original sense of self” (p.232).

Ordered Order—Conservative Christians’ Love Affair with Hierarchy

"In times of social change, any hint of change in the status quo stirs up fears of disorder. The more rapid the change, the more loudly come the calls for clamping down, holding back, conserving the status quo, stressing hierarchy over equality, law over grace."

There Is More than One Christian View on Homosexuality

"But when it comes to homosexuality, many people have the impression that there is only one religious or biblical view – only one way to consider the question of equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. That view, in the minds of many, is that any and every same-sex sexual expression is sinful in the sight of God."
Letha Dawson Scanzoni

Reflections of a Christian Feminist: On Being All We’re Meant to Be

So when I think about or talk about feminism, it means I’m convinced that the church needs women and men to be working together in full and equal partnership and applying all the principles listed above.

Carolyn Briggs: Pressing on to Higher Ground

As we talked, I mentioned that so many women who have left fundamentalism are extremely bitter because they have been so hurt, and their anger comes across almost as a “fundamentalism” of its own—as though they want to “de-convert” people away from faith. “Exactly,” she responded. “And I have received many emails from people who want me to join them in that bitterness. I’m just not going to. I’m not going to go there. . . ."
Jann Aldredge-Clanton

Jann Aldredge-Clanton Interview

In Changing Church I tried to reflect not only racial and ethnic diversity, but also diversity in sexual orientation and Christian denominations. To pursue their calling some of these ministers have overcome obstacles not only of sexism but also of racism and/or heterosexism.
Strength for the Journey

Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community

Bass is telling us two stories. As she describes it, it's "the story of intertwined journeys -- how one woman observed and experienced the shifts and struggles of mainline religion as she lived her own journey in eight Episcopal congregations over two decades. And it is the story of each congregation at a particular moment in its history" (p.18).
Christianity for the Rest of Us

Christianity for the Rest of Us

Although we’re of different generations, Diana and I had similar experiences of attending “Rotary Club”-type mainline churches that left us spiritually unsatisfied in our early years, leading us to turn to evangelicalism on our own as teenagers. There we found a more lively form of Christianity and an exciting emphasis on a personal relationship with Christ.

Kathryn Christian: Mysticism, Music, Marriage, and Ministry

One day I profoundly needed comforting by God, and I needed to be sung a lullaby like a mother and child. So I started strumming around with lullabies in three-quarter time, and then I was thinking of images of God as my Mother, caring for me.
Patricia Smith Gundry

Christian Feminism Online: A 1997 Interview with Pat Gundry

"Christian feminists haven’t even begun to tap into the full range of possibilities offered by the Internet, which may be the greatest communication tool ever devised," writes Pat Gundry.
Colleen Fulmer

Finding Colleen Fulmer

by Letha Dawson Scanzoni, EEWC Update editor Known for her social justice/feminist Christian music in the 1980s and early 1990s, Colleen Fulmer seemed to have disappeared from the music scene. EEWC Update decided to search...

A Spiritual Heart Transplant: An Interview with Joan Chittister, OSB

You knew that in this very hierarchical, patriarchal structure you were not a person--that anybody could reach in at anytime, do anything to you--and that was all in the name of holiness.
Nancy A. Hardesty

The Life and Ministry of Nancy A. Hardesty

This past spring, EEWC-Christian Feminism Today was deeply saddened by the passing of one of our organization's founders, Dr. Nancy A. Hardesty, who died on April 8, 2011. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years earlier and was 69 years old at the time of her death. We want to share with you some of the highlights of her life and career.
Two Hands Touching

Contemporaneity “the quality of belonging to the same period of time”

EEWC, with its mix of young and old and every age in between, and its sense of contemporaneity -- we're all in this together at the same time and place in history and each of us has something to contribute -- provides countless opportunities for demonstrating what it means to be a feminist and Christian at any age.
Carolyn Bohler

Carolyn Bohler: One God, Many Metaphors

She writes, “God is like a Father, a Daddy, Abba Mia, My Daddy, ”but only in the same sense that God is like a Nursing Mother or Shepherd or a nonparental image such as Intimate Friend, or Guide or Rock or Light. “

Answering God’s Call to the Soul: Marjory Zoet Bankson

by EEWC Update editor Letha Dawson Scanzoni I see ‘call’ not as a vocational choice but as a special way of understanding what we are here for,” writes Marjory Zoet Bankson in her new book, Call...
Lindsey Huddleston

Praise God’s Name with Festive Dance

She is saddened that so many fear and deny their bodies. "People 'stay in their heads' a lot to protect themselves," she said. "Rhythm gets us in touch with the unconscious and takes us out of our heads.

Read more from Letha Dawson Scanzoni on her blog, Letha’s Calling.