Journal Article

Women's Role in Historic Religious and Political Movements

Inger Furseth

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 62, issue 1, pages 105-129
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
Women's Role in Historic Religious and Political Movements

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This article will compare the role of women in four historic religious and political movements in Norwegian history during the period 1780–1860. The Lofthus revolt and the Thrane movement are the political movements under study, and the Hauge movement and Norwegian Methodism are the religious movements. Within each movement, two issues are considered. First, there is an examination of the differential participation of women in the movements, where consideration is given to how the religious movements were more successful in mobilizing women. Second, the effects of female participation in the religious movements are assessed in relation to recruitment and stability. In the empirical analysis, primary and secondary historical sources related to the period between 1780 and the decade of the 1860s are utilized. The main findings are: (1) ideological inducements for women to participate and available roles for women in the organizational structures are important explanations for female participation in the religious movements; (2) female participation within the religious movements led to more widespread diffusion and recruitment; and (3) women provided the religious movements with a relatively high degree of stability, because they enabled the use of family formation as a movement strategy and secured continuity through the socialization of new members.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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