Women in the Mission of the Church: Their Opportunities and Obstacles throughout Christian History

Leanne M. Dzubinski and Anneke H. Stasson

In many places around the world, women represent more than three quarters of the regular, active participants in congregations and Christian ministries. Dzubinski and Stasson have written an excellent complement to the standard narrative of white, male, Western church history by highlighting women who helped make Christianity a world religion.

Weavings: Women Doing Theology in Oceania

Edited by Lydia Johnson and Joan Alleluia Filemoni-Tofaeono

This volume helped set the stage for theologizing about gender justice in a region where patriarchy is widespread, with women caught between the expectations of traditional culture and Christianity. Violence against women is especially severe in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Fiji, even though these countries are majority Christian.

The Church of Women: Gendered Encounters Between Maasai and Missionaries

Dorothy L. Hodgson

In the 1950s, Catholic missionaries went to Tanzania hoping to convert Maasai men. But as Hodgson shows in this classic of ethnography, they deemed the mission a failure when Maasai women converted in droves. Today, nearly one-fifth of the world’s Catholics live in Africa, with women making up a distinct majority.

Abuelita Faith: What Women on the Margins Teach us about Wisdom, Persistence, and Strength

Kat Armas

A core practice of world Christianity scholars is looking at what is happening at the so-called margins of society and the church. This is exactly what Armas does in Abuelita Faith, identifying the theological contributions of mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters in their everyday lives.

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Caroline Criado Perez

This book helped me recognize a flaw in how we study global Christianity: insufficient data on women in churches, ministries, and missions. Invisible Women illustrates how women are left out of decision-making processes, causing decision-makers to overlook their unique needs, experiences, and bodies. From inequalities in medicine to ill-fitting uniforms to poorly designed public restrooms, when research caters mainly to men, women suffer more than inconveniences.

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