This book tells the story of how a parish women's meeting started in 1876 by a Victorian vicar's wife is now the most authentic and powerful organization of women in the new global Christianity. Its cross-disciplinary approach examines how religious faith and shifting ideologies of womanhood and motherhood in the imperial and post colonial worlds acted as a source of empowerment for conservative women in their homes, communities and churches. In contrast to much of feminist history, A History of the Mothers' Union 1876-2008: Women, Anglicanism and Globalisation shows how the beliefs of ordinary women led them to become advocates and activists long before women had the vote or could be ordained priests. Having survived an identity crisis over social and theological liberalism in the 1960s, the Mothers' Union provides a model of unity and reconciled diversity for a divided world wide church. Today it is hailed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and international development practitioners as an outstanding example of global Christian engagement with poverty and social transformation issues at the grass roots. The material is arranged both thematically and chronologically. Case studies of Australia, Ghana and South Africa trace how the Mothers' Union arrived with white British women but evolved into indigenous organizations. CORDELIA MOYSE is Adjunct Professor of Church History at Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, PA, USA.
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