In the overall study of religious activity within world cultures, the Euro-American structure of religion and society often mirror that same androcentric values and hierarchy in findings around the world. Non-Western societies however, show a much more female-oriented religious practice. These non-Western cultures predominantly value women’s roles in keeping the balance within their community (Brettell and Sargent 319). Most focused research on women in religion sheds light on the many ways in which longstanding traditions differ greatly from ethnocentric patriarchal ideals. The purpose of this paper is to explore women’s roles in religious rituals among two indigenous non-western cultures, and offer a comprehensive explanation of those religious practices in both anthropological and psychological respects.
In all areas of life and society the treatment and well being of women have always been challenged. In many religions the role and status of its women are usually overwhelmed by the actions and roles of its men this inequality of religions between male and female allows these feelings and ideology of which sex is superior or inferior to bleed into a society’s culture thus shaping their treatment of their men and women.
The decline of the classical empires contributed several ingredients to the spread of what turned out to be two great world religions – Christianity and Buddhism. Before this, most religions had been regional. The fading of the great empires – due to the reshuffling of geographical boundaries, from the Mediterranean to the Pacific – caused the regional confinement of religion to be modified dramatically. There was also a political decline that encouraged people to turn towards spiritual organizations.
In her book Feminism and Religion, Rita M. Gross provides readers with an introduction to the need for, and benefits of, androgynous scholarship in the field of religious studies. Gross strives to make readers aware of the dangers of androcentric, Eurocentric scholarship. Moreover, she advances the claim that, “properly pursued, the field of religious studies involves study of all major religions found in human history” and an equal representation of both men’s and women’s religious experiences (Gross 1-4). Because androcentrism has permeated both religion and scholarship for the greater part of history, Gross strives to correct and augment this perspective with illuminating examples of what she deems “proper” religious scholarship –
This phenomenon is most visible in the popular conferences organized by women spiritual and religious leaders. Just as important are those meeting privately to meditate and pray, to study the world, and to support each other in social action. These gatherings share a commitment to a universal spirituality that affirms women's bonds across ethnic and religious boundaries. They're also exploring a new feminine paradigm of power that's based on tolerance, mutuality, and reverence for nature -- values they now see as crucial to curing the global pathologies of poverty and
May religious women are still not permitted to become priests or are only allowed to work themselves up to a certain level before they hit a religious ‘glass ceiling’, identifying where they want to be, but not being able to reach it due to the constraints set upon them. On the other hand, there are views to suggest that women are no longer oppressed in religion. For example, many cults are run by women and Paganism, from which many New Age religions originate, remains the most female-friendly approach to religion with a strong feminist element, where God is a mixture of male and female, and strong female leadership is common.
Throughout our Women and Religion Course, we have analyzed how women’s lives have been shaped by religious affiliation, or lack thereof. Religious obligations and ideals have historically placed women in a patriarchal box that has required the submission or obedience of women in order to be a true follower. This ideology has created a movement within different religions for a more progressive understanding of the modern woman and her ability to increase participation and visibility for similar women; who may be experiencing the same plight. Women, who speak out about the emotional, sexual, and physical abuse that pervades certain religions, as well as the lack of respect, provide a voice for woman who may otherwise never have their stories
Religion is powerful in that it controls followers’ behaviours and beliefs throughout their entire lives; it is a form of social control. Catholicism is one of the most widely known religions influencing more than 2 billion people around the world (Ross). Within Catholicism not everyone are seen as equals; men have greater privilege than women. The bible and church are from a male’s point of view (Christ 86) and passages within the bible are used to enforce a sexual hierarchy. In fact, the oppression of women begins with the first story in Genesis about creation, which portrays females as being inferior to men and even of an evil nature. This one passage is the main source of justification of oppression of woman in the church (Daly 13).
The abundance of religion throughout history has left a profound impact. From the religions of the Mediterranean, such as Christianity and Islam, to the religions of the east, such as Buddhism, their spread has affected many governments and their leaders. The exchange between religion and governments have made governments grapple with new ideas and cultures.
Brodd, Jeffrey, Layne Little, Bradley Nystrom, Robert Platzner, Richard Shek, and Erin Stiles. Invitation to World Religions. First Ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2013. Print
Religion can be seen to act as a social control over women to a large
Tomoko Masuzawa’s literary work, The Invention of World Religions, provides a meticulous analysis of how the term “world religions” is categorized and used in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Masuzawa addresses how the categorization of world religions has changed throughout history and how different elements of each religion, such as texts, origin, and ability to expand have shaped the classification of that religion by scholars. By using the works of well-established scholars, she is able to provide an accurate account of how the perception and analysis of these religious occurred in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Institutions within the public domain, such as universities and hospitals, can then shape interaction with their specific audiences to abide by the practices of these world religions in order to connect with the public in a culturally competent manner.
Religion is a major cornerstone of human identity and culture. Anywhere you look on earth where there are people, there is a religion or set of beliefs that those people follow. Many times, the teaching of these Religions can be twisted and manipulated to justify gender bias. The Simple truth is people are treated very differently based on their Gender by followers of two of the most popular religions in the world: Islam and Judaism. I am going to examine some ways the teaching of these two major religions are used to oppress, abuse, and differentiate women.
This work investigates the implications of theories of global change for the study of religion generally and, through a series of case studies, applications of those theories to specific religious movements. In particular, Beyer is interested in the seeming contradiction of the persistence of conflict between social units within a globalizing world that is more and more becoming a "single place." The first half of his book, the introduction and four chapters, is taken up with theoretical definitions of religion as a social system and the position of that social system with regard to other systems. The second half of the book, five chapters, explores applications of Beyer’s theorizing to a wide range of world religious particularities.
My paper studies the three most significant and most commonly known western religion Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in terms of the role that the woman played and a brief synopsis of the religions itself. Religion is a system of human though which usually includes a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices that give meaning to the practitioner’s experiences of life through reference to a higher power, deity, or ultimate truth. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are the only religions that are based on a single creator and that are why they are called western religions. These three religions are monotheistic faiths practiced by about half of the world’s population. Believers of the three religions are found on every continent