cover image Mormon Feminism

Mormon Feminism

Edited by Joanna Brooks, Rachel Hunt Steenblik, and Hannah Wheelwright. Oxford Univ, $29.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-19-024803-1

This impressive volume collects four and half decades of writings by Mormon feminists. Stretching from consciousness-raising groups to online activism, the collected works cogently argue that being Mormon and feminist is not an oxymoron, backing up this assertion with historical proof, humor, scriptural argument, and poetry. The concerns of Mormon women have shifted over the years, and this volume displays a diverse spectrum of feminisms and argumentation methods, from gentle critique to vehement polemic. Each piece includes a brief introduction to the author and the context for its original publication, though it is not always clear which pieces are complete and which are excerpts. Some directly respond to statements and sermons by Mormon leaders; the arguments are clear, but including the original texts would have helped those further removed from the tradition and debate. These are minor issues in a generally excellent work. The introduction to the overall collection by Brooks, which provides a broad history of Mormon feminism, is superb. Probably best suited for topical research (a useful index is included), the volume will appeal to all those invested in understanding the compatibility of feminism and religion even beyond Mormonism. (Nov.)