A Church of Her Own: 05/08/08
A Church of Her Own by Sarah Sentilles is part memoir and part look at the struggles women face when they decide to become priests or ministers.
The book is divided into three main parts: Vocation, Incarnation and Creation. Vocation covers the why behind woman choosing ministry even in the face of the on-going sexism in the different sects and denominations. Incarnation looks at how women ministers are scrutinized for their bodies, their dress, their makeup (or lack of it). Creation finally looks at the art of being a minister and a woman.
Since sexism is such a wide reaching problem for women who feel called to ministry, Sentilles spends a lot of the book deconstructing gender roles and talking about gays, lesbians and transgender ministers. Her discussion of gender against the bible, church traditions and modern beliefs in America is where the book really comes into its own.
A Church of Her Own starts slowly. The first few chapters are rather dry but it picks up and stays interesting to the end. When I finished the book I was angry for the women who have put up with such outrageous behavior from their colleagues and congregations.