Women as Teachers and Disciples in Traditional and New Religions

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This collection comprises a multi-faceted and challenging examination of women's roles: on the one hand as disciple, student, medium; on the other hand as teacher, leader, priestess. It demonstrates the complexity of the issue even within a single religion: Christianity is full of misogyny yet has produced great women saints and mystics; Hinduism has the archetype of a powerful Goddess yet women are socially subordinate. Buddhism is flourishing in the West and offering unprecedented opportunities for spiritual growth to women, yet they are subject to sexual abuse. The contributions in this collection present a wide range of traditions and approaches to these issues: Western and Eastern, old and new, scholars and practitioners. It looks at the 'Desert Mothers' (counterparts of the better-known Desert Fathers in early Christian Egypt); the Great Indian Goddess; the Brahma Kumeris in the UK; the Rajneesh movement; Sufism; Bahian Candomble; American Buddhism; Italian magical-esoteric groups; modern Paganism; and more.


"So different are the experiences described, that as well as informing the reader the volume is a constructively provocative one which raises numerous reactions and questions in the reader's mind. . . . All this serves as thought-provoking material, and the volume makes a valuable contribution to much needed resources in the study of women's religious experiences." - Journal of Contemporary Religion

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