A riveting blog, Feminism and Religion, explores the diverse perspectives on feminism and religion, and their intersections with culture, tradition, body, race and sexual identity.
Providing the insights and comprehensive writings are feminist scholars with focuses on the issues related to woman agnd religion. The blog is run in affiliation with Claremont Graduate University in a bid to reinterpret and unravel “liberating insights” buried inside sacred texts and traditions, as well as show experience-based personal views of its authors.
For instance, an article, Progressive Islam: A Critical View from Latin Muslim, criticizes the concept of “Progressive Islam” in America. The writer points out that, although the society has been encouraged to support women-led prayers, women-only spaces, and even providing LGBTIQ inclusive mosque, some marginalized groups still remained oppressed and neglected. Addressing race issue, she said that Latin Americans are not considered as “real” Muslims, and those of non-Arab Muslims (including black or indigenous) are undermined for they are thought to have inadequate knowledge of Islam.
Another writer describes the “Devadasi” culture in India, in which girls dance and sing in temples as a form of worship. The culture used to give women powerful positions in the society for they have high status and association to kings and temple patrons. However, the arrival of British in the 17th century brought with it a “puritanical sense of morality” that considered Devadasi an immoral practice. Later, in the 20th century, the practice is being outlawed. As a result, underage girls born in Devadasi community these days are often forced into sex work for the sake of economic survival. The writer problematized how the society and the state often forcefully eliminate a practice without providing a new system to replace it.
Overall, the themes are wide-ranging and it gives you a glimpse of the different ways feminism is present in a certain place at a certain time. The contributors come from various religions, races and places of origins, providing a highly diverse, yet intimate coverage of women’s struggle in many different domains.
Check out their blog for more stories and follow them on Twitter.