The Unit 6 Journal is based on the readings from Women and Religion and the videos from this unit. (Do not use THINK! World Religions.)
These are the four required elements for your journal:
- Give at least one quote from the readings (cite author and page number) – if there are multiple sources for readings it is fine to choose a quote from each.
- Ask a question of clarification or analysis.
- Write a substantial 2 paragraph (meaning at least 7-10 sentences per paragraph as a minimum) response that engages with the ideas and examples, including giving your own supported perspective.
In your text Women and Religious Traditions, read
- Chapter 7: “Women in Islam”
In addition to reading this chapter, read these articles by Martha Nussbaum:
- “Veiled Threats?”
- “Beyond the Veil: A Response”
Include a works cited list.The journal should NOT be a summary of the texts but a thoughtful consideration of some ideas that emerged from the readings.
Guidelines: Double-space your submission and attach it as a Word doc. (Do not submit a PDF.) Format it overall so it complies with MLA or APA.
The Unit 6 Journal is based on the readings from Women and Religion and the videos from this unit. (Do not use THINK! World Religions.) These are the four required elements for your journal: Give at
TRS 2243: Women and Religion Journal Assignments Instructions, Guidelines, and Examples Instructions: Each Journal entry should contain the following 3 required elements: Give at least one quote from the readings (cite author and page number). If there are multiple sources for readings, it is fine to choose a quote from each. Ask a question of clarification or analysis. Write a substantial, 2-paragraph (meaning at least 7-10 sentences per paragraph as a minimum) response that engages with the ideas and examples, including giving your own supported perspective. This should NOT be a summary of the texts, but a thoughtful consideration of some ideas that emerged from the readings. Guidelines: Single space your entry. Be sure to cite all your sources following correct MLA style. Compose each Journal entry in Word (or another word processing program) FIRST and then copy and paste it into the journal assignment tool in Blackboard. (Blackboard does not have a back-up feature, so this will save frustration if there is a crash or network problem while you are completing this assignment.) Use the examples provided below to help guide you in your Journal assignments for this course. JOURNAL SAMPLE 1 Quote: “ …It is only when our inner pipeline to God is clear, when we are surrendered to serve God unconditionally, without thought to our own needs or wants, that the divine energy of life can work through us, can flow through us, into the world and miraculously transform the difficult outer situations” (Fisher, 22). Question: Too often I believe that people are caught up on the sex of a person, being male or female, versus emphasizing their gender. By definition gender incorporates what it means to be male or female. I think society thinks of men and women more in the aspect of sex versus gender. Why is it that our society has, over the years, accentuated that women are less than men, focusing on sex rather than gender? Are there really any differences in gender besides the actual sex of a person? Who decided what it means to be either male or female and the roles they will have in our community? Finally, do we celebrate male and female differences or fight for true equality? Response: This first chapter of Women in Religion was intriguing and informative in the sense that it gave a good background on women’s religious experiences thus far. The chapter broke down what it means to be a woman in religion, focusing on the topics of patriarchy, women’s religious participation, and studying women in religion. I was surprised to discover that there is a real difference between the idea of religion and spirituality. I usually think of these words as interchangeable. However, the chapter outlined that religion is more of the beliefs that are shaped by institutionalized traditions, whereas spirituality is our personal response to the aspects of life we consider sacred (Fisher 12). I find this distinction important to my further understanding of religion among women and my personal spirituality. Fisher also describes the concept of patriarchy in religion. For so many years, and not only in religion, patriarchy has dominated our society. The textbook, and bell hooks Feminism is for Everybody, referred to the fact that some women are outraged by this, while others believe this idea to be acceptable. In my personal opinion, this concept simply confuses me. As much as I would like to say that I am for woman equality, I have been equally engrained with thoughts that men lead our society. I can definitely see a patriarchy in the Catholic religion, especially being that the pope and priests are male. Women have come a long way in our society and are much more equal to men than in previous decades. However, I still see patriarchy as a major aspect of religion. Then again, I am not quite sure if I would be welcome to a change in that pattern. Patriarchy within religion is summed up best when the chapter states, “Religious institutions thus mirror the existing social patterns of control of women by men” (13). I will be interested to learn more about the aspect of patriarchy in other world religions and the insight from women in other cultures about the topic. Another concept of this chapter I was interested by was the section on “Women as Ascetics.” It seems like a difficult life path to follow, but also is commendable and spiritual in my opinion. In studying women in religion, I found it appealing that the chapter discussed a theory that women may have been highly regarded in the past in some cultures. The example in the book about the “Altai Princess” displays this theory (Fisher 26). As I continued reading, I began thinking to myself, what changed? The text goes on to state that “stereotypes are not universally maintained, so they may be culturally learned” (27). I agree with this statement and believe that stereotypes only limit our growth in learning about religion, or any other subject for that matter. I will find it a major challenge to overcome this barrier while learning about women in religion this semester. Source: Fisher, Mary P. Women in Religion. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc., 2007. Print. JOURNAL SAMPLE 2 Quotes: “Since this time of awakening through crisis, I am drawn in what I read, what I teach and experience, to the inner light” (Fisher, 20). “The insights that occur naturally in the course of mothering are the need to give oneself completely to the physical and spiritual care of the infant, the need to know by empathetic understanding…a nd the necessity of letting go. These are all spiritual experiences of women which complement and correct the insights of traditional spirituality” (Fisher, 18). Questions: The text mentions that religion seems to further oppress individuals who are minorities or come from less industrialized cultures (13). Is the author referring to only western religions or to all forms of religion? Would this mean that a religion such as Buddhism or Hinduism oppresses whites since they would be the minority in these particular faiths? How is being a “mujerista” or a “womanist” any different than being a feminist, aside from being of differing races? Reflection: After reading Fisher’s first chapter, as well as bell hooks, I have developed a greater understanding and appreciation for the fight for women’s inclusion within the realm of religion. The book points out many specific examples of how women have been treated unfairly in this sphere compared to men. In the section “Women’s Bodies,” I was surprised to learn that in many regions of the world, a woman’s menstruation is considered polluted and shameful. However, what really frustrated me was learning that this idea has been one factor in keeping women from becoming priests or religious leaders in most faiths. Becoming a mother is often viewed as one of the most holy and fabulous miracles known to mankind, an experience that involves “physically caring for the infant- nourishing, nurturing, cleaning, comforting…” (16). I cannot understand how a beautiful aspect of womanhood such as this can possibly be viewed as polluted. Another injustice to women that occurred in history is mentioned in “Women as Mystics,” which discusses the document known as Malleus Maleficarum. This composition caused hundreds of women to be murdered for being “witches” due to their spiritual activities and guidance. Horrifyingly, this event could easily be compared to Hitler and the Nazi Party’s Jewish genocide during WWII. Both events occurred in an attempt to wipe out a group of people who had done no wrong and were just practicing their religious beliefs. Thankfully, women today are given more freedom to worship and be active in their religions through prayer and devotion than they were then! Being a woman, I support many different aspects of the concept of feminism, as defined by bell hooks. Sexism, especially within religions, is an issue that must be addressed and put to an end. The above paragraph serves as proof that sexism has impacted religions over the course of history. However, feminism and the fight for women’s equality are very much alive and can be seen in the reading, as well. Under “Challenges to Institutional Restrictions,” Fisher states that some active feminists fight for the rewriting of scripture to focus on equal phrasing between males and females (i.e. not using “man” to describe human beings). While I don’t necessarily agree that sacred scriptures should be changed or remade (mostly due to my own personal religion), I understand that many feminists feel oppressed by this terminology and may feel offended by the text’s disregard for women. Also, Fisher’s first chapter illustrates that women are utilizing religion as a means of feminine bonding and empowerment, which I love! Rather than feeling less important or unholy by being women, they take pride in their abilities: being good listeners, problem solvers, child bearers, the list goes on. Religion should be something that brings people together rather than rip them apart, and it seems as though women are actively embracing this idea. Source: Fisher, Mary P. Women in Religion. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc., 2007. Print.