Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Girlfriend Christianity

Is it just me, or is it fair to say that women are interested in more than the aw- shucks- I-burned-the-pot-roast-but-God-still-loves-me kind of Christian memoir?

Why do women feel compelled to write so often about the cheerios stuck to their feet and less often about the intricate mysteries of faith and scripture. I get how humility draws us closer to Christ, and maybe relinquishing the pursuit of perfection is a start in that direction- but I think it's also ok, and important to encourage young women to think outside the kitchen, or play room, or laundry room, or whatever.

I think it's beautiful when we find God in the small stuff. But in matters of faith- it is NOT a case of "Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarden" or Sunday School for that matter.

We should embrace the mystery. We should dig deeper, think harder, ask more questions of ourselves and our leaders- or the authors that we read. Because just like songwriters, or worship songwriters, Christian authors are our theologians. Whether we like it or not.

Are there any female theologians out there I should be reading?

I love Sara Sumner and her book changed my life, but what else am I missing?



  1. As a women in ministry who also is deathly afraid of christian bookstores (small c) I have to say... here here! That is why you and I need to keep writing. Kind of like the saying "I love Christ but I can't stand Christians"... I love books but I can't stand Christian books (with some great exceptions most of which are male). Anne Lamott changed my life (you say memoir like it is a dirty word... but her memoirs are in no way shallow- this is probably a duh... but I have to say it) and I also love Lauren Winner and I think she has a lot more in her left to write that I can not wait to read.

  2. lauren winner- just read the arc for her latest- it's about doubts and mid-life faith crisis. forgetting the title right now...very nicely done.

    i haven't read this, but made a note of it last night: barbara brown taylor when god is silent and leaving church. sounded interesting anyway.

    annie dillard

    madeline l'engle

    kathleen norris: the quotidian mysteries- really cute little piece. read another one on st. benedict

    dorothy sayers? not so much memoir though...mind of the maker
    flannery o'conner- i guess also not memoirs.

    i agree - really tiring of the mommy bloggers out there...

  3. Oh I forgot... had this article bookmarked from over a year ago. I haven't worked my way completely thru the list but it has some amazing suggestions.

  4. Jill and I were just talking about this. I was wondering if there were any women in our church interested in talking about theology, or if their only interests were finding a husband or breastfeeding. Both of which are incredibly important. But it's nice to see women show up to the more "heady" classes or theological subject matter discussions...
    Phyllis Tickle is an important female theologian, along with Mignon Jacobs, Myrna Hooker, and Nancy Murphy.
    Another meeting of the support group should happen soon......

  5. I love this conversation! Yes! And what a great list of suggestions. Can't wait to get after it. And I love memoir- I write memoir- I don't think it's a dirty word at all- I just think it's been diluted. Of course Ann Lamott and Lauren Winner are favorites of mine as well, but these other names are great. Thanks all.

  6. Cameron - I love these thoughts. I have a few Christian women that I consider "go-to" writers. Lynne Baab, Lisa Graham McMinn, Marva Dawn, Phyllis Tickle. These are all women writing seriously about faith. I appreciate reading these other comments too!

  7. Amen is all I can say. Love this conversation. I love mothering. I love being a wife. I cherish My familly ... I want to talk and listen and learn about God and transcendent beauty and truth. I want to think and wrestle and discover while being midst of the mess and chaos but not being defined by I making sense?

  8. I love that I stayed up too late on Twitter & discovered your blog. Made missing some sleep worth it! I am SO with you on this. I read a really eclectic spiritual mix. Some favorites of mine: Joyce Rupp, Joan Chittister, Sue Monk Kidd (Dance of the Dissident Daughter is my all-time favorite spiritual memoir) & Priscilla Warner (who's Jewish).

    Would love to join a like-minded discussion group that veers away from the realm of traditional women's ministries. See you Sunday!