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A New Gospel for WomenKatharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism$
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Kristin Kolbes DuMez

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190205645

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190205645.001.0001

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The Challenge of Christian Feminism

(p.179) Conclusion
A New Gospel for Women

Kristin Kobes Du Mez

Oxford University Press

The closing section traces Bushnell’s waning years, from the end of World War I to her death in 1946. Even as she sought to continue her purity work, Bushnell considered her efforts to develop a feminist theology her work of greatest significance. Although Bushnell died in obscurity, God’s Word to Women would continue to circulate around the globe in the decades after her death. Conservative Christians, particularly Pentecostals, have found in her writings justification for female preaching and teaching, resources to combat the abuse of women, and inspiration for contemporary anti-trafficking efforts. By providing a theology rooted in a gospel of liberation for women, Bushnell’s work provides an alternative both to secular feminism and to a patriarchal evangelical purity culture. Yet at the same time it demonstrates the challenges Christian feminists face, in America and in the global Church, in constructing a sexual ethic that is both feminist and Christian.

Keywords:   Christian feminism, anti-trafficking, sexuality, sexual ethics, abuse, evangelical purity culture, secular feminism, feminist theology

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