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Women, Religious Agency And The Politics Of Vocation

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author argues that many Roman Catholic women are engaged in a struggle to influence the distribution of power within their church so that their treasured identities of both woman and Catholic can be fully claimed, expressed and ultimately valued within the wider institution. The strategies these and other women use to claim ownership of Catholicism and to both transmit and transform their religious tradition are interpreted in the chapter as a form of religious agency. The reflexive process of constructing one's religious identity is tied in traditional religious understandings to vocation. The chapter looks at some of the micro-politics of church life in India and the United States, particularly examples of how women are creating pathways for themselves through speech and space.

Keywords: India; micro-politics of church life; religious agency; Roman Catholic women; United States; vocation



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