Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xvi

This project is the culmination of many collaborations, gifts, and debts. First off, I would like to thank each of the amazing women who participated in this project and all the members of the Yarrow Collective, the Clearwater United Church, and the Toronto Catholic Worker. By taking time out of your lives to speak with me, you made this work possible. You have new names in the text that follows, but I hope that you nonetheless recognize yourselves within it. My goal in sending this book out...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-44

This book is about people who combine in their lives and communities deep commitments often taken as fundamentally incompatible by others: feminism, progressive political engagement, and religion. In fact, despite the emergence of spiritual feminism in North America in the last half century, I have found that trying to talk about this project, even with academic colleagues, elicits surprise. Popular discourses intimate that social justice commitments, especially to gender and...

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1. Changing Rituals, Changing Worlds

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pp. 45-82

Within their individual communities members of the Clearwater United Church congregation, the Catholic Worker community, and the Yarrow Collective spend significant time together planning and performing rituals. For them collective ritualizing creates community and affirms individuals within that community.1 They value innovation, spontaneity, and experimentation in ritual actions. Their common understandings of ritual also create an environment in which playing with ritual expressions from other traditions is possible and desirable. In this chapter I...

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2. “The Shrine Was Human Rights”: Pilgrimage and Protest

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pp. 83-130

A statue of Mary presided from her palanquin, floating above the throngs of the Saturday mass march against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) in Quebec City, April 19– 22, 2001. The Holy Mother was resplendent in her cloak of dollar bills and a sash that read, “Our Lady of Consumption.” She held a tiny toy camel in one hand and a giant needle in the other. Her attendants handed out prayer cards on which the McDonald’s logo blazes across her chest— a cultural critique...

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3. “Spirituality” as Feminist Third Choice: Gendering Religion and the Secular

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pp. 131-164

Whether it evokes nods of identification or spurs furrows of distaste, the statement “I am spiritual but not religious” is by now familiar to most North Americans. In such declarations religion is associated with institution and societal pressure, whereas spirituality relates to personal experience, privacy, and individuality.1 The contradictory dynamics of spirituality’s role in secular worldviews is well illustrated by Bruno Latour in We Have Never Been Modern when he writes, “You are indignant that...

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4. Self, Community, and Social Justice

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pp. 165-204

Feminist scholars of religion, especially those focusing on women in conservative movements, insist that it is overly simplistic to understand personal agency exclusively in terms of resistance.1 Saba Mahmood, in particular, emphasizes the importance of expanding notions of personal agency to include the enactment of norms and ideals, not only changing oneself in spite of social norms.2 Agency solely realized through resistance reflects an understanding of power as transcendent and the individual’s interaction with it as a “zero- sum” game.3 From this perspective...

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Conclusion

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pp. 205-212

In thinking through relationships between religion and politics in the contemporary world, it is often easier to see their coordination in conservative projects than in other configurations. This is in part because conservative Christianity is vocal in insisting on its right to represent “real” religion but also because, due to their commitment to making space for other religious and nonreligious voices, progressive activists tend to downplay personal religious motivations, opting instead to emphasize shared ethical discourses. For practical reasons both scholarship...

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Source Acknowledgments

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pp. 213-214

Portions of the introduction are adapted from “Feminism and Religion: Intersections between Western Activism, Theology and Theory,” Religion Compass 6, no. 7 (July 2012): 354– 68.

Portions of chapter 1 are adapted from “Second Nature: Contemporary Pagan Ritual Borrowing in Progressive Christian Communities,” in “Feminism, Activism and Spirituality,” special issue, Canadian Women’s...

Notes

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pp. 215-250

Bibliography

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pp. 251-292

Index

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pp. 293-310