The central issue Bush finds in these works is how their authors
have dealt with the authority of Mormon Church leaders. As she puts
it in her preface, "I use the phrase 'faithful transgression' to
describe moments in the texts when each writer, explicitly or
implicitly, commits herself in writing to trust her own ideas and
authority over official religious authority while also conceiving
of and depicting herself to be a 'faithful' member of the Church."
Bush recognizes her book as her own act of faithful transgression.
Writing it involved wrestling, she states, "with my own deeply
ingrained religious beliefs and my equally compelling education in
feminist theories that mean to liberate and empower women."
Faithful Transgressions examines a remarkable group of authors
and their highly readable and entertaining books. In producing the
first significant book-length study of Mormon women's
autobiographical writing, Bush rides a wave of memoir publishing
and academic interest in autobiography and other life narratives.
As she elucidates these works in relation to the religious
tradition that played a major role in shaping them, she not only
positions them in relation to feminist theory and current work on
women's life writings but ties them to the long literary tradition
of spiritual autobiography.
Subjects: History, Religion
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