List of Resources
For biographical information, the first place I recommend students to go is our database Biography in Context. This particular database has great overviews of people's lives along with articles about them where students can get more information. As well, Gale Virtual Reference contains a wealth of encyclopedia sources covering biographical and religious topics.
Other Helpful Online Resources
This link will take you to our One Search system, which is designed to search all of our physical and online content simultaneously.
This is the main Religion Database we subscribe to at the GCC Library and it contains a wealth of scholarly articles and content.
I'm always impressed with the content of this collection and it often contains a wealth of information philosophy and religious topics.
If you are researching a religious woman whose appearance in the public sphere has been relatively recent, you might also consider researching this individual in one of our Newspaper databases as these databases contain a wealth of information about more recent individuals and the news stories they make.
Helpful Links to Books
Below are some links to some of the books at the GCC Libraries. In the links, you can enter additional search terms to narrow the focus of the search.
9780028648590Serinity YoungEncyclopedia of Women and World ReligionIn spite of the sexism that has denied women full active status in their religions, the editor calls this title a "celebration" of the scholarship of recent years. In order to offer a global perspective, contributions were sought from non-Western as well as Western scholars for the 600 signed articles. Entries encompass individual religions and their variations, biographies, movements, issues, and the relationship of religion to the study of art, literature, and science. While broadest coverage is given to the major religions of the world, information is also provided on Sikhism, African religions, Santeria, and Native American religions and many others. An added feature is the synoptic outline, which provides conceptual themes to the reader. This valuable resource is accessible to the high school and college student, to the researcher and the general reader. --Outstanding Reference Sources: the 1999 Selection of New Titles, American Libraries, Ma y 1999. Comp. by the Reference Sources Committee,RUSA, ALA. - Description from Syndetics
9780816071036Rosemary Ellen GuileyThe Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft, and WiccaUncover the magic and truth behind this compelling topic.In more than 480 entries, ""The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft, and Wicca, Third Edition"" is an exciting update to one of the landmark references on the subject - by paranormal expert Rosemary Ellen Guiley. This new edition provides unparalleled coverage of witchcraft practices around the world - spanning different time periods and societies - including entries on magic, shamanism, the occult, and wizardry. Now covering Wicca-related material not included in the previous editions, as well as updates of contemporary biographies and Wicca material, this encyclopedia is perfect for casual readers and those fascinated by this spellbinding topic. All material has been expanded considerably, providing updates and new information about the key topics of witchcraft.The new and revised coverage includes: a treatment of the Inquisition; biographies of contemporary Wiccans; ""Book of Shadows""; familiars; folklore relating to witchcraft; historical cases of witchcraft trials; magic and Wicca; salem witches; Wicca practices, rituals, beliefs, and traditions; and, witches in entertainment: films, television, stage, and popular fiction. - Description from Syndetics
9780872895805Charles H. Lippy; Peter W. WilliamsEncyclopedia of Religion in AmericaA multidisciplinary examination of religion in American life Encyclopedia of Religion in America examines how religious history and practices are woven into the political, social, cultural, and historical landscape of North America. This authoritative four-volume reference work explains the origins, development, adaptation, influence, and interrelations of the many faiths practiced, including major world religions, new religious sects, cults, and religious movements that originated or had an influence in the United States. Edited by well-known experts in the field, the Encyclopedia covers all the significant religious denominations and movements that have originated or flourished in North America, from the beginning of European settlement to the present day. The broad multidisciplinary coverage includes the religious life of indigenous peoples, specific aspects of religious life, and the relationship of political, social, economic, and cultural spheres. Topics include: Religion as an influential force in the U.S. Methods of worship Religion and politics Homosexuality and religion African American religion Arts and architecture Church-state issues Education Environment and ecology Ethnicity Evangelicals Faiths Gay and lesbian issues Historical overviews Immigration Media (new and old) Megachurches Movements and denominations New religious movements Popular religion and culture Race and racism Religious thought Religious Right Rites Role of women Terrorism and war Encyclopedia of Religion in America is an essential resource for students and scholars researching issues in a wide variety of social science disciplines, from American history to cultural studies, political science, gender studies, psychology of religion, and more. It reflects new scholarly research and interpretation that have emerged over the last two decades, as well as significant new areas of study, such as post-9/11 America, the role of gays and lesbians in church, gender, and the role of the evangelicals in American political life. - Description from Syndetics
There are a lot of books concerning women and religion, below is a link to a few sample titles
9780061567582Benazir BhuttoReconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the WestBenazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan in October 2007, after eight years of exile, hopeful that she could be a catalyst for change. Upon a tumultuous reception, she survived a suicide-bomb attack that killed nearly two hundred of her countrymen. But she continued to forge ahead, with more courage and conviction than ever, since she knew that time was running out--for the future of her nation, and for her life. In Reconciliation, Bhutto recounts in gripping detail her final months in Pakistan and offers a bold new agenda for how to stem the tide of Islamic radicalism and to rediscover the values of tolerance and justice that lie at the heart of her religion. With extremist Islam on the rise throughout the world, the peaceful, pluralistic message of Islam has been exploited and manipulated by fanatics. Bhutto persuasively argues that America and Britain are fueling this turn toward radicalization by supporting groups that serve only short-term interests. She believed that by enabling dictators, the West was actually contributing to the frustration and extremism that lead to terrorism. With her experience governing Pakistan and living and studying in the West, Benazir Bhutto was versed in the complexities of the conflict from both sides. She was a renaissance woman who offered a way out. In this riveting and deeply insightful book, Bhutto explores the complicated history between the Middle East and the West. She traces the roots of international terrorism across the world, including American support for Pakistani general Zia-ul-Haq, who destroyed political parties, eliminated an independent judiciary, marginalized NGOs, suspended the protection of human rights, and aligned Pakistani intelligence agencies with the most radical elements of the Afghan mujahideen. She speaks out not just to the West, but to the Muslims across the globe who are at a crossroads between the past and the future, between education and ignorance, between peace and terrorism, and between dictatorship and democracy. Democracy and Islam are not incompatible, and the clash between Islam and the West is not inevitable. Bhutto presents an image of modern Islam that defies the negative caricatures often seen in the West. After reading this book, it will become even clearer what the world has lost by her assassination. - Description from Syndetics
9780814723845Priscilla Pope-LevisonBuilding the Old Time Religion: Women Evangelists in the Progressive Era2015 Smith/Wynkoop Book Award presented by the Wesleyan Theological Society 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title During the Progessive Era, a period of unprecedented ingenuity, women evangelists built the old time religion with brick and mortar, uniforms and automobiles, fresh converts and devoted prot#65533;g#65533;s. Across America, entrepreneurial women founded churches, denominations, religious training schools, rescue homes, rescue missions, and evangelistic organizations. Until now, these intrepid women have gone largely unnoticed, though their collective yet unchoreographed decision to build institutions in the service of evangelism marked a seismic shift in American Christianity. In this ground-breaking study, Priscilla Pope-Levison dusts off the unpublished letters, diaries, sermons, and yearbooks of these pioneers to share their personal tribulations and public achievements. The effect is staggering. With an uncanny eye for essential details and a knack for historical nuance, Pope-Levison breathes life into not just one or two of these women--but two dozen. - Description from Syndetics
9780742562516T. J. WrayGood Girls, Bad GirlsThe few popular Bible stories about women are often presented in black and white--the women were good or bad, Ruth or Jezebel. But most of us fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Good Girls, Bad Girls invites readers to take a more nuanced look at 12 women in the Old Testament, to explore their lives more deeply in historical context, and to grasp what these stories might mean to women today. T. J. Wray, a biblical scholar, asks readers to consider whether Jezebel was really as bad as generally believed, and includes women ranging from the infamous Delilah to the mysterious Witch of Endor. Impeccably researched and beautifully written, Good Girls, Bad Girls will appeal to both individual readers and groups interested in learning what the Bible really has to say about these twelve important women. - Description from Syndetics
9780785818960039864018968M. L. del MastroAll the Women of the Bible All the Women of the Bible is a treasure trove of information. Saints, sinners, harlots and angels, not a one is missing from this wonderful collection of biographies and stories of over 400 biblical women. If you've ever asked yourself the question, "Who was she?" ?" you need only to open this amazing book to find out! They're all here, all real women, and all willing to pay whatever price asked to gain their heart's desire. Their struggles, successes and failures still resonate within us today. All the Women of the Bible is divided into two sections: "The Book of Names," and "The Book of Stories." "The Book of Names," opens the book and contains over 400 entries. It is a well-researched and easy-to-follow biographical dictionary and thesaurus of sorts, listing each woman along with a short description of her life and citations where her story can be found and cross references to other dictionary entries. "The Book of Stories," makes up the second half of the book and takes quite a different tone than that of the dictionary. Here, retold in rich detail, are the stories of fifty-six very important women?"women whose lives were changed by crisis and challenge; women who learned, shared, or shunned faith in the Lord. - Description from Syndetics
9780800638269Barbara J. MacHaffieHer Story: Women in Christian TraditionAn accessible, introductory text first published by Fortress Press in 1983, Her Story: Women in Christian History has sold over 30,000 copies of the first edition and has ably helped readers recover the oft-ignored or submerged stories of women in the Christian tradition, from biblical times to now. Barbara MacHaffie, who wrote the brief history and compiled a lively anthology of companion primary readings, has revised and updated the text and readings. In this new edition, history and primary readings are combined and augmented with helpful pedagogical tools. This new textbook, which offers sympathetic coverage of all Christian traditions, is supported by a dedicated Web site that includes chapter summaries, questions for discussion and Web links that vividly bring the stories of women to life in portraits, artifacts, and other primary materials. - Description from Syndetics
9781582437088Leora TanenbaumTaking Back God: American Women Rising up for Religious EqualityIf you've witnessed the preferential treatment of men in America's houses of worship, you will not be surprised to learn that there is a surge of women in this country rising up and demanding religious equality. More and more, religious women--Christian, Muslim, and Jewish--are declaring that they expect to be treated as equals in the religious sphere. They want the same meaningful spiritual connections enjoyed by their brothers, fathers, husbands, and sons. They embracethe word of God but are critical of their faith's male-oriented theology and liturgy. They reject the conventional interpretations of religious traditions that give women a different--and, to their minds, lesser--status. Rather than abandoning their faith, these women are taking it back and making it stronger, transforming religion while maintaining tradition. Leora Tanenbaum relates the experiences of Catholics, evangelical and mainline Protestants, Muslims, and observant Jews. The conflict these religious women face--honoring tradition while expanding it to synchronize with modern values--is ultimately one that all people of faith grapple with today. - Description from Syndetics
9780824832025Beata GrantEminent Nuns: Women Chan Masters of Seventeenth-Century ChinaThe seventeenth century is generally acknowledged as one of the most politically tumultuous but culturally creative periods of late imperial Chinese history. Scholars have noted the profound effect on, and literary responses to, the fall of the Ming on the male literati elite. Also of great interest is the remarkable emergence beginning in the late Ming of educated women as readers and, more importantly, writers. Only recently beginning to be explored, however, are such seventeenth-century religious phenomena as "the reinvention" of Chan Buddhism--a concerted effort to revive what were believed to be the traditional teachings, texts, and practices of "classical" Chan. And, until now, the role played by women in these religious developments has hardly been noted at all. Eminent Nuns is an innovative interdisciplinary work that brings together several of these important seventeenth-century trends. Although Buddhist nuns have been a continuous presence in Chinese culture since early medieval times and the subject of numerous scholarly studies, this book is one of the first not only to provide a detailed view of their activities at one particular moment in time, but also to be based largely on the writings and self-representations of Buddhist nuns themselves. This perspective is made possible by the preservation of collections of "discourse records" (yulu) of seven officially designated female Chan masters in a seventeenth-century printing of the Chinese Buddhist Canon rarely used in English-language scholarship. The collections contain records of religious sermons and exchanges, letters, prose pieces, and poems, as well as biographical and autobiographical accounts of various kinds. Supplemental sources by Chan monks and male literati from the same region and period make a detailed re-creation of the lives of these eminent nuns possible. Beata Grant brings to her study background in Chinese literature, Chinese Buddhism, and Chinese women's studies. She is able to place the seven women, all of whom were active in Jiangnan, in their historical, religious, and cultural contexts, while allowing them, through her skillful translations, to speak in their own voices. Together these women offer an important, but until now virtually unexplored, perspective on seventeenth-century China, the history of female monasticism in China, and the contributionof Buddhist nuns to the history of Chinese women's writing. - Description from Syndetics
9780313014406Sita Anantha RamanWomen in India: A Social and Cultural HistoryAre Indian women powerful mother goddesses, or domestic handmaidens trailing behind men in literacy, wages, opportunities, and rights? Have they been agents of their own destinies, or voiceless victims of patriarchy? Behind these colorful over-simplifications lies the reality of many feminine personas belonging to various classes, ethnicities, religions, and castes. This two-volume set looks at Indian history from ancient to modern times, revealing precisely why ideas of gender rights were not static across eras or regions. Raman's work is a reflection on the various ways in which women in a non-Western culture have developed and expressed their own feminist agenda. Are Indian women powerful mother goddesses, or domestic handmaidens trailing behind men in literacy, wages, opportunities, and rights? Have they been agents of their own destinies, or voiceless victims of patriarchy? Behind these coloful over-simplifications lies the reality of many feminine personas belonging to various classes, ethnicities, religions, and castes. This two-volume set looks at Indian history from ancient to modern times, revealing precisely why ideas of gender rights were not static across eras or regions. Raman's work is a reflection on the various ways in which women in a non-western culture have developed and expressed their own feminist agenda. Individual chapters highlight the enduring legacies of many important male and female figures, illustrating how each played a key role in modifying the substance of women's lives. Political movements are examined as well, such as the nationalist reform movement of 1947 in which the ideal of Indian womanhood became central to the nation and the push for independence. Also included is a survey of women in contemporary India and the role they played in the resurgence of militant Hindu nationalism. Aside from being an engaging and readable narrative of Indian history, this set integrates women's issues, roles, and achievements into the general study of the times, providing a clear presentation of the social, cultural, religious, political, and economic realities that have helped shape the identity of Indian women. - Description from Syndetics
9780826347381Electa Arenal (Editor); Stacey Schlau (Editor); Amanda Powell (Translator)Untold Sisters: Hispanic Nuns in Their Own WorksWhen it appeared in 1989, Untold Sisters was the first general introduction to Hispanic convent culture published in the United States. Since then, much has been learned about the links among women of differing cultures, orders, and convents, their networks and support systems, their conflicts and rivalries. Most nun-authors lived in convents and were subject to multiple mechanisms of control. They found ways to negotiate, however, the repressive machinery of ecclesiastic and state institutions. Untold Sisters underscores how role models such at St. Teresa of Avila aided nun-authors in intertwining their personal beliefs with dogma, regardless of their social situations. At the same time that they wanted proximity to God, they sought to authorize speech, both oral and written. Historical changes and geographical distance alter the meanings of written words. The language used by the nuns was common to the writers' regions, generations, and even their particular religious orders. Without this knowledge, it is easy to mistake words or modes of expression--quite common or particular in meaning to an entire community, city, or epoch--as unusual or original. As in the first edition, the authors first study and then anthologize some representative nuns' writings, which are presented in modernized Spanish and English. Revealed here are the contradictions of female monastic life: repression and liberation, obedience and rebellion, conformity and individuality. - Description from Syndetics
9780814744482Scott Siraj al-Haqq KugleLiving Out Islam: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims2015 Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award presented by the Stonewall Books Awards of the American Library Association Muhsin is one of the organizers of Al-Fitra Foundation, a South African support group for lesbian, transgender, and gay Muslims. Islam and homosexuality are seen by many as deeply incompatible. This, according to Muhsin, is why he had to act. "I realized that I'm not alone--these people are going through the very same things that I'm going through. But I've managed, because of my in-depth relationship with God, to reconcile the two. I was completely comfortable saying to the world that I'm gay and I'm Muslim. I wanted to help other people to get there. So that's how I became an activist." Living Out Islam documents the rarely-heard voices of Muslims who live in secular democratic countries and who are gay, lesbian, and transgender. It weaves original interviews with Muslim activists into a compelling composite picture which showcases the importance of the solidarity of support groups in the effort to change social relationships and achieve justice. This nascent movement is not about being "out" as opposed to being "in the closet." Rather, as the voices of these activists demonstrate, it is about finding ways to live out Islam with dignity and integrity, reconciling their sexuality and gender with their faith and reclaiming Islam as their own. - Description from Syndetics