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Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith

Talking Taboo:	American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith

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In this collection of courageous essays, American Christian Women under the age of 40 speak the unspeakable as they explore the taboos that still remain at the intersection of their faith, gender, and identity in the 21st-century


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American Christian Women under 40 have more freedom to express our faith than ever before; we are being theologically trained in unprecedented numbers, accessing leadership in our communities through both orthodox and unorthodox avenues, and balancing the roles of professional, wife, mother, girlfriend, and friend. With all of the perceived progress, why does it feel like our young voices still aren't being heard? And if we found the courage to speak, what we would we want to say?

The latest book in the I Speak For Myself series addresses the experiences of faith, gender, and identity that remain taboo for American Christian Women Under 40. Is it our desire to remain childless in a Catholic tradition that largely defines women by their ability to reproduce? Is it our struggle with pornography in an evangelical subculture that addresses it only as the temptation of unsatisfied men? From masturbation, miscarriage, and menstruation to ordination, co-habitation, and immigration, this collection of essays explores the most provocative topics of faith left largely unspoken in 21st century American faith life.

For women and their partners, faith leaders and their members, historians and their students, this book documents the voices of young Christian women and their refusal to be silent any longer.

 

ABOUT THE EDITORS

Erin Lane & Enuma Okoro

 


REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

 "A diverse range of voices rise together in a song of solidarity and sisterhood in Talking Taboo. Bold and beautifully written, these essays will make you giggle, weep, roll your eyes, cheer, balk, gasp, and whisper prayers of thanks. Each story gives the reader permission–permission to speak, permission to ask questions, permission to follow Jesus and serve the church without cramming into a mold. This book is a gift. I hope many will cherish it" – Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood and Evolving in Monkeytown 

"Talking Taboo is a groundbreaking book. This chorus of bold female voices is presenting the church with an opportunity to engage real but all too frequently avoided or unseen issues impacting countless Christian women today. Their candid essays cover a wide spectrum of perspectives. Readers will resonate with some and be shocked by others. Talking Taboo took courage to write. Reading taboo takes courage too. So buckle up and brace yourself for an eye-opening but vitally important read!" - Carolyn Custis James, author of Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women, www.whitbyforum.com 

"When I look over my books and see how few women theologians/leaders are named in the footnotes compared to the men, I’m sad and determined to do what I can to turn the tide toward balance. That’s one reason I’m thrilled to read Talking Taboo. It introduces me – and I hope you too – to many new leaders who deserve our attention and respect. I’m grateful to Enuma Okoro, Erin Lane, and all the contributors. By presenting women leaders/theologians/writers/thinkers who are as smart as they are brave, Talking Taboo will help us redress an imbalance that has been in place for far too long (as my footnotes evidence) … which is just one of many taboos that it’s time to talk about." -- Brian McLaren, author of Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? and A New Kind of Christian series

"This array of more than forty stories of Christian women in America is about sexism in church and society, sexism that takes a great variety of forms and has shaped and distorted women’s lives in endless ways. Yet these women are all emerging from these distortions and discovering a God who loves them and a good self that loves oneself. The insightful stories in Talking Taboo bring us in many ways to that hopeful place." - Rosemary Radford Reuther, author of Sexism and God-Talk, In Our Own Voices, and The Wrath of Jonah

"How did Christianity—a faith founded on the reality of “the Word become flesh”—get tied in knots and torn asunder over gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, and other features of the God-given fact we live embodied lives? Scholars argue over that question, but this much is clear: women have been the main victims of this heresy, to the immense loss of both church and world. In the clear and honest words of the women who “talk taboo” in this book, we hear voices of truth that can help Christians reclaim respect for flesh and come to feel more at home in their own skins. Talking Taboo is an important book, one that should be read and discussed in every church in the land." - Parker J. Palmer, author of Healing the Heart of Democracy, A Hidden Wholeness, and Let Your Life Speak

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