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Saved From Silence Finding Women's Voice in Preaching [Paperback]

By Mary Donovan Turner (Author) & Mary Lin Hudson (Author)
Our Price $ 16.14  
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Item Number 136082  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   184
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 5.99" Height: 0.54"
Weight:   0.66 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 1999
Publisher   Chalice Press
ISBN  0827234392  
EAN  9780827234390  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
"Whether we like it or not, there are still subtle, and not so subtle, elements in our culture and church that continue to silence women. Turner and Hudson's book is a revelatory piece that examines this phenomenon and offers ways and encouragement for women preachers to find their voice." - Consensus

Publishers Description
Turner and Hudson use the metaphor of voice to examine how women and other marginalized groups can make themselves heard.

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More About Mary Donovan Turner & Mary Lin Hudson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mary Lin Hudson is professor of homiletics and and liturgics at Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee. Mary Donovan Turner is Carl Patton Professor of Preaching and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching   [1493  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Sermons   [1585  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Feminist   [643  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Finding a voice...  Mar 29, 2003
The many definitions of voice in the dictionary give an introduction to the variation of meaning behind the word, but, as with most dictionary definitions, leaves one grasping only the thinnest of meanings. It cannot give voice to all the meanings, subtleties, nuances, and uses of words. It speaks with an intentional voice, and in realizing that intention, leaves much out. So it is true with many throughout history, and it is still true even in today's relatively more tolerant pluralistic and diverse society.

Turner and Hudson, in this book Saved from Silence: Finding Women's Voice in Preaching, address the question of why and how women should find a voice in preaching in today's church. In so doing, they explore different historical examples, from women mentioned in the Bible to other women in later Christian history. The importance of voice is brought in from the outset, prior to specific examples. What does one mean by voice? '"Voice" as a metaphor corresponds to basic principles in feminist, womanist, and liberationist thought that recognise the issues of power and oppression in relationships.' (p. xii) Their terminology expands beyond the specific task of the recovery of women's voices, and speaks to all humanity. 'If the church recommitted itself to a "voice-centered" theology and mission, the church would be called to take more seriously the systems and structures that stifle the voices in human community.' (p. 139) To a very large, the recovery of women's voices, as one voice that has been explicitly excluded from the greater conversation in the church throughout history, can lead to the recovery of the lost and/or stifled voices of all in the church. This is true in many aspects of the life of the church, not simply preaching. Liturgy and biblical studies often overlooked women (among others). The ignoring of these other voices can have serious consequences. 'It challenges the accuracy of the claim that liturgy is the work of the people when so many of the people are rendered invisible and silent.' (see In Her Own Rite, by Marjorie Procter-Smith, p. 61, which I have also reviewed)

The recovery of lost or stifled voices is no easy task. 'The inability of the silent women to find meaning in the words of others is reflected also in their relations with authorities. While they feel passive, reactive, and dependent, they see authorities as being all-powerful, if not overpowering.' (see Women's Ways of Knowing, by Mary Field Belenky, et al., p. 27, which I have also reviewed) There is great pressure, both officially sanctioned and unofficially encouraged, that keeps those silent from speaking out. When the silent do speak out, it is often ignored. 'Our history as a church is blessed, however, with stories of women who, empowered by God's spirit, have courageously chosen to speak rather than to flee. . Yet, in each generation, feminist work is received as it had no historical past.' (p. 89) It is made more complex in that the silence isn't always a complete stifling. 'Because people do not share a single experience of oppression or define themselves in the same way, one person may feel "voiced" in one situation and then "silenced" in another.' (p. 17) Women in different cultures, and indeed different social classes, denominations, or other such varying conditions, may find greater or lesser degrees of being silenced.

One can look to the biblical text itself, Turner and Hudson argue, to see that there is a call for an empowering of voice to women (among others). 'We found in the biblical texts a model for ongoing interpretation that demands that the contextualised voice speak to its world. We found a hermeneutic that makes our own engagement with the text - because it is ours - important and necessary.' (p. 2) The example of Elizabeth and Zechariah at the beginning of Luke-Acts, and Elizabeth's interactions with Mary, are given as instances of women's voices being empowered over those of men.

If, as Turner and Hudson state, 'The purpose of religious life is to assist and sustain the conversation between God and humanity,' then the silencing of anyone on a categorical basis leads to a brokenness. (p. 50) Each of us can relate to the feelings of women in being silenced, although the correlation is sometimes, given our individual circumstances, an imperfect one - for instance, being a male (white male, besides) affords me other opportunities for voice for which I do not have to fight; however, there are circumstances in which I am silenced by design or by neglect. As we explore the silencing of any individual or group, it gives us opportunity to reflect upon ways in our own lives in which we have been silenced.

In the silencing of any voice, the church runs the risk of silencing an important prophecy. In the silencing of any voice, one makes a choice, and treads on the dangerous ground of not hearing those difficult things that God intends, that are necessary, that are good and just. The hearing of these voices can enrich our lives, even through the irritation that might occur.


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