In honor of Women’s History Month, Kelly Baker has started a series of post to recognize those scholars doing some of the best work in the subfield of gender and American religious history.
In this her first installment at Religion in American History she features the work of Anne Braude, Pamela Klassen, Marie Griffith, and Robert Orsi.
Here is her vignette on Braude:
Ann Braude, of course, is at the top of my list. Her works include Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-century America (2001), Sisters and Saints: Women and Religion in America and several edited collections, notably Transforming the Faiths of Our Fathers: The Women Who Changed American Religion. Her essay, “Women’s History is American Religious History”(1997) is required reading. In this piece, she argues that women’s history is central to the narratives of American religions, and that common descriptors like secularization refer to men’s roles and decreasing presence in churches rather than abandonment wholesale of Christianity. For Braude, religious history looks different from the perspective of women, and this needs to be accounted for in our tellings and retellings of American religious history. Again, I wonder how many have taken seriously her call of the gendered nature of our categories of American religious historiography.