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2/07/2009

'Sacred books for Men! Storybooks for Women!"

In the 1983 film Yentl, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yentl) a bookseller with his cart cries that line as he maneuvers through crowded and muddy streets in Eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century. I was reminded of this as I explored a popular level Christian book source. Theology and, the more intellectual tomes, were clearly marketed to men: colors, images, expressions, and symbols were tilted toward a male perception. Curious, I ran a search for “women” looking for the type and scope of resources that search might find. The results were illuminating. Fictional romance, beauty, and friendship were the first results.

The Rambling Prophet blog (
http://ramblingprophet.blogspot.com/2007/01/where-are-christian-intellectuals.html) addresses the tendency for evangelicals to be viewed as under-achievers and to view themselves in that light. One comment on his entry asked ‘where are the intellectual Christian women?’ Where indeed.

Where are the Dorothy Sayers? Mildred Bangs Wynkoops? Elizabeth Achtimeirs? The Catherine Booths? Julia Smith? The Anna Maria van Schurmans? So many others…
They may, however, be like the four women theologians of Union Seminary (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/burke/archives/awts/exhibit.html), present but invisible and unacceptable. Women who worked, studied, and never achieved the recognition or respect their work no doubt merited.

Further Reading:
Anna Maria van Schurman: Whether a Christian Woman Should Be Educated and Other Writings from Her Intellectual Circle. Edited and Translated by Joyce L. Irwin (174 pages, 6 x 9 © 1998 Series:
The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe . Cloth $45.00
ISBN: 9780226849980 Published November 1998 ; Paper $20.00 ;ISBN: 9780226849997 Published November 1998 )
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presssite/metadata.epl?mode=synopsis&bookkey=42720

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