Spiritual Gifts and Secular Benefits

Susan Starr Sered

in Priestess, Mother, Sacred Sister

Published in print December 1996 | ISBN: 9780195104677
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853267 | DOI:
Spiritual Gifts and Secular Benefits

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Can we expect to find that female-dominated religions not only reflect women's identities (for example, as mothers), but also actively serve their interests? Women, like men, join religious groups and perform religious rituals for fundamentally religious reasons. In most contexts in which female-dominated religions occur, individual women have some amount of free choice. Women's religions are rarely the only available religious option. Social deprivation and personal crises undoubtedly lead some individuals to seek a “better” or more convincing belief system—one that more adequately explains why things are the way they are. Many kinds of non-religious organizations can meet women's needs for social interaction, group support, networking, empathy, even healing, yet it does seem that religious organizations have a unique role—even in terms of meeting women's secular needs and furthering women's secular interests. This connection has been made explicit by Spiritual Feminists.

Keywords: Spiritual Feminists; women; religions; religious groups; rituals; social deprivation; personal crises; secular interest

Chapter.  11039 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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