Item description for Disorderly Women: Locals, Outsiders, and the Transformation of a French Fishing Town, 1823-2000 by Susan Juster...
"Juster examines the changing role of Baptist women in Colonial and Revolutionary New England. At first essentially equal to men in church governance and in the right to speak in church, women were gradually excluded from power in Baptist churches after the Revolution. As the Baptist church adopted a more patriarchal model of church organization, women were not only marginalized and silenced but associated because of gender with several serious sins, including sexual misconduct, lying, and slander."--Library Journal
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Studio: Cornell University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.67" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Jul 15, 2011
Publisher Cornell University Press
ISBN 0801483883 ISBN13 9780801483882
Availability 0 units.
More About Susan Juster
Susan Juster is Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the author of Disorderly Women: Sexual Politics and Evangelicalism in Revolutionary New England.
Reviews - What do customers think about Disorderly Women: Sexual Politics & Evangelicalism in Revolutionary New England?
A Helpful Exploration of Primary Materials Jun 16, 2007
Through a series of well-researched arguments, Susan Juster, Professor of History at the University of Michigan, seeks to show in this monograph that the participation of evangelical churches in the revolutionary cause during the late 18th century had a profound impact upon the place that women were offered within those churches.
During the pre-revolutionary era, Baptist and other evangelical churches became increasingly prominent parts of the New England religious landscape. The relative parity that women enjoyed with men in these congregations was a function of the liminality inherent in the intense religious experience that members of such congregations shared. The American revolution, along with a desire for increased respectability among Baptists, soon moved Baptist churches towards the mainstream of New England religious life.
Juster argues that the rhetoric of the American revolution, with its identification of submission to authority as female, caused evangelical churches to reconsider sin as a gendered concept. Effects of this reconsideration can be found, for instance, in evangelical conversion narratives, which for the first time after the revolution can be identified with the gender of the writer through the language used for deity and sin, indicating that men and women after the revolution had begun to think of their relationship to God and themselves in very different ways.
Juster comes to her conclusions through the application of feminist theories borrowed from other scholars to the material that she has gathered on the revolutionary-era evangelical churches of New England. Her conclusions about the shifting use of gender language and the sinking status of women within these churches during and after the revolution are convincing, although her use of theory is occasionally somewhat essentialistic. Juster sometimes lifts theoretical concepts from studies of other historical situations and places them over her own subject without offering an explanation as to how the given theory or idea remains applicable. At no point, however, does Juster's use of theory squeeze her subjects into a mold so tight that her conclusions are entirely the results of her method and not the content of her sources.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Juster's work is the breadth of her research. To gather enough discipline records and conversion narratives to come to a representative conclusion, the author canvassed denominational historical societies, government archives and university library special collections. As a result, Juster's work is unlikely to be criticized for drawing a conclusion which does not reflect the scope of research claimed in title of her text.
This work serves two purposes: It paints an excellent portrait of colonial evangelicalism in New England, and then shows with a good deal of persuasiveness how these churches were eventually altered by the revolutionary climate and the churches' subsequent need for respectability. Any reader with an interest in early American history, women's history, or the history of evangelicalism can read this book with profit.
Well written....poorly argued May 7, 2001
Susan Juster's Disorderly Women is well written, but her arguments concerning the "feminine" nature of early Evangelicalism and its transition to a more masculine form in the late 18th century are extremely poor. She relies mostly on her own heavily biased opinions, when in many cases, the primary source evidence she provides clearly contradicts her. On the whole, this book does a great disservice to anyone who would ever attempt to reasonably argue any of what is covered within this book, as Juster so completely fails in arguing her thesis that one is inclined to believe that just the opposite is probably true.