Essential Reading For Mormon Feminists
One of our readers recently emailed and asked what the most important books were for Mormon feminists to read. Here is my list, but please, readers, contribute your own ideas.
I have ranked these books. Three stars means most important, one star means less important.
Readings on Mormon Feminism
1. Women and Authority: Reemerging Mormon Feminism by Maxine Hanks. *** This is a collection of essays that addresses just about every topic you ever thought about as a Mormon feminist. I highly recommend the first chapter about Mother in Heaven, and I also love the excerpts from Exponent II. This book is completely online, but I recommend buying your own copy.
2. All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir by Ulrich and Thayne. *** This is a gentle, thoughtful collection of essays and poems from a couple of our best thinkers in the Church. Whatever you do, make sure you read the essay, “Lusterware.” If you’re ever feeling discouraged and wonder if there’s a place for you in the church, read it. You’ll be renewed with fresh hope.
3. Sisters in Spirit by Beecher and Anderson. ***A great collection of essays. I remember particularly liking Newell’s one on gifts of the spirit.
4. Strangers in Paradox by the Toscanos*** Fascinating ideas about women and Mormonism.
5. Mormon Enigma by Newell and Avery. **If you’re interested in Emma Smith, this will blow you away. What an amazing woman. And how messed up polygamy was.
6. The pink Dialogue issue from 1971. **The first women’s issue, put together by the wonderful ladies of Exponent II.
7. Mormon Sisters by Claudia Bushman. **Who knew those early women of Utah could be so empowered?
8. From Housewife to Heretic by Sonia Johnson * You’ll learn details here about the Church’s underground work against the ERA that will blow you away. She’s a powerful writer. But you might find her over the top anti-patriarchal rhetoric a bit tiring.
9.) The Exponent II publication. **Started in the 70’s to explore the intersections of faith and feminism, this publication has been publishing wonderful essays and articles for over 30 years.
10. God the Mother and other Theological Essays by Allred. ** Here she proposes that the Holy Ghost may be God the Mother.
Books on Feminism and Religion
1. When Women Were Priests *** by Torjesen. A powerful argument that women held priesthood in the early Christian church.
2. Womanspirit Rising by Christ *** A collection of seminal articles on feminism and religion, from a variety of traditions.
3. Sexism and God-Talk by Reuther *** The best book I know about patriarchy, feminism and Christianity.
Please add to my list!