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Josephine Butler was anunlikely candidate for taking up the cause of prostitutes as she did with a fierce and self-disregarding passion. This book explores the particular mix of perspectives and experiences that came together to envision and empower her remarkable achievements. It highlights the vital role of her spirituality and the tragic loss of her daughter.
Josephine Butler was the leading light of a highly controversial Victorian feminist pressure group which championed prostitutes' rights and contested the sexual double standard as sanctioned by the Contagious Diseases Acts of the 1860s. After a lengthy struggle, her organization (with others) had success, and their efforts sparked similar movements internationally. This work tells her story and asks the questions: What made her take up this cause? and What kept her going through the many years of discouragement and vicious hostility? Victorian prostitution is explored in terms of the dominant Victorian view and the attitude of Evangelicalism, and possible effects of attitudes toward the prostitute from political conviction and perspectives created by Romanticism and Feminism are sought. None of these takes us to the heart of her motivation. We find this only at the point where the pain of her daughter's death, her concrete experience of marginalized women, and her set of ideological convictions are related to her mystical Christian faith. Josephine's issues were ones of gender and sexuality and these are areas which are still being hotly contested in our own day. Perhaps it is possible to find inspiration and perspective from her story for a Christian engagement in the public realm with regard to these subjects and others.
Buy A Victorian Feminist Christian: Josephine Butler, Prostitutes and God (Studies in Evangelical History and Thought) by Lisa S. Nolland from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781842272251 & 184227225X
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