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Gender and Religious Faith Experiences of Adult Christian Exemplars

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Open-ended survey responses from 205 Christian exemplars drawn from 37 distinct congregations within 19 Christian denominations in the Northwest and New England regions of the United States were analyzed by chi-square and multiple regression analyses to determine relationships between religious experience and gender. Results indicated that men were more likely than women to describe positions of leadership/responsibility/service as influential to their faith, and to indicate their own personal sin as a faith challenge. Women were more likely than men to describe negative/tragic events as a faith influence, the intellectual dimension of their faith as a challenge, and serving other people as a faith satisfaction. These results appear to lend strong empirical support to previous assertions in both the social science and feminist theological literature regarding relationships between gender and religious experience.

Affiliations: 1: Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, New York 14624, USA; 2: Gordon College, Wenham, MA, USA

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