Older women of faith changing the world: The impact of older women's participation in interfaith organizations and social activism

Date
2014-05
Authors
Dayton, Debra Friedman
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Abstract

This thesis sought to determine whether the values of religious organizations could be consistent with feminist values. Nine members of a women's interfaith organization consisting of Islamic, Jewish, and Christian members participated in semi-structured interviews, and the Brown Locus of Control Scale (BLOCS) and the Women's Spirituality Inventory (WSI) were administered to them. The statistical results produced no significant correlations between the BLOCS and WSI. However, the major qualitative themes were as follows: 1) Joining the organization due curiosity about other faiths; 2) Identifying as womanist or feminist; 3) Believing that people can experience religious prejudice; 4) Identifying as progressive or open-minded; 5) Participating in social activism; and finally; 6) Believing that the greatest barrier to coexistence between members of different faiths was ignorance. It was concluded that this spirituality–oriented interfaith organization was consistent with feminist values of social change and equality.

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Keywords
Philosophy, religion, and theology, Social sciences, Organizations, Teaching empowerment, Tolerance, Women's Interfaith
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