Spirit on the Loose in Times of Transition: Early Women Preachers in the U.S.A.
In recent decades historians have demonstrated that women were preaching in the U.S.A. long before the ordination of women to ministry. Many Quaker, evangelical, and Holiness women were itinerant preachers who traversed the country throughout the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, encountering numerous hardships and obstacles as they went. In this essay I identify and examine three types of transitions in which the Spirit appears to have been “on the loose” so that women were able to claim their preaching vocations: ecclesial and theological transitions, political and geographical transitions, and personal transitions in the lives of the women themselves. I conclude by reflecting on what we might learn from this history for opening the pulpit to preachers on the margins today.
Copyright (c) 2017 Leonora Tubbs Tisdale
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