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Women’s Voices of Duty and Destiny

Religious Speeches Transcending Gender


Elizabeth W. McLaughlin

This book collection is a celebration of women who speak truth to power in the public square. A perfect fit for undergraduate students of rhetoric, gender, religion and history, Women’s Voices of Duty and Destiny showcases the speech texts of 14 women addressing societal issues from the values of their religious beliefs and discourse communities. Between the tensions of the duty of gender roles and human destiny, these global voices representing different time periods and religions address the thematic issues of faith, society, education, reform, freedom and peacemaking. Written in clear, straightforward language, students will directly encounter the words and voices of leaders who strive to make the world better for all in the quest for human dignity. Each speaker seeks to forward the transcendent value of human freedom as reinforced by her explicit references to the divine. This collection is appropriate for 200-400 level undergraduate classes and offers a broad sampling of women who speak in the public square.

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It has been an extraordinary privilege to work on this collection of women’s speeches, and many people have assisted in the making of this book. To all, I am grateful for your contribution, encouragement and guidance.

To Daniel S. Brown, Jr., book series editor, and Kathryn Harrison of Peter Lang Publishing, thank you for your patience with me in many questions and for the opportunity to work on this project.

To Agnes Baker Pilgrim, who reminded me to be grateful for every glass of clean water, and Dr. Brook Bello and Lana Pohlman of More Too Life for their inspiration to overcome life’s challenges and stand up for what is right. Thanks also to human rights activist Jon Andrews for the introduction to Dr. Bello’s work.

To Rabbi Sally J. Priesand who graciously agreed to let me include her words in this collection, and to Sr. M. Callisita from the Mother Teresa Center who went to the extra mile to find me in the midst of lost emails seeking help with Mother Teresa’s speech. ← xiii | xiv →

To Deb Pentecost of the Phyllis Schlafly archive and Dr. Tasha Lucas Youmans of the Bethune-Cookman University Archive, thank you for your work in finding sources.

To Megan Clabbers, for her excellent advice, edits, friendship, and bringing order to chaos, and to Paige Comstock Cunningham, my best friend and role model, for excellent recommendations and ideas. Thank you.

To library...

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