Handmaidens of the Lord: Pentecostal Women Preachers and Traditional Religion

Elaine J. Lawless, Author University of Pennsylvania Press $24.95 (294p) ISBN 978-0-8122-1265-5
In her study of Pentecostal women preachers and pastors in the antifeminist evangelical church, Lawless ( God's Peculiar People ), associate professor of English and folklore at the University of Missouri, pk focuses on the Mid-Missouri region and allows those women to stand as the representatives upon which she bases her examination. While the life stories of these women are touching, the disorganized, disjointed and nearly verbatim manner in which they are presented will ultimately confuse the reader.makes it difficult for a reader to follow or ap preciate. However, in her analysis of the unusual careers, Lawless introduces a number of stimulating ideas (the preachers have ``rescripted'' their lives in a similar way to make religion their focal point; they all believe their calling from God legitimizes actions that others say go against scripture; the women preachers ``decry the feminist movement and deny that they have chosen a strong, feminist stance against the dictums of their world''), although due to her limited field of study she is forced to repeat many quotes. The dissection of the women's sermons is likewise interesting (they repeatedly apologize for their position and emphasize their subservience to God) but is not enhanced by comparison with the sermons of African male preachers. The study includes lengthy transcriptions of sermons by the women pastors featured here. Photos not seen by PW. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-60899-412-0
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-8122-8100-2
Open Ebook - 296 pages - 978-1-5128-0383-9
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