Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions

Faith and Culture across History

by Susan de-Gaia, Editor


As creators and sustainers of culture, women have always shaped world religions and are at the forefront of changes in religions today.

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Cover image for Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions

November 2018


Pages 912
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Religion/Gender
  Women's Studies/General
  • Award Winner!




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This reference offers reliable knowledge about women's diverse faith practices throughout history and prehistory, and across cultures.

Across the span of human history, women have participated in world-building and life-sustaining cultural creativity, making enormous contributions to religion and spirituality. In the contemporary period, women have achieved greater equality, with more educational opportunities, female role models in public life, and opportunities for religious expression than ever before. Contemporaneously with this increased visibility, women are actively and energetically engaging with religion for themselves and for their communities.

Drawing on the expertise of a range of scholars, this reference chronicles the religious experiences of women across time and cultures. The book includes sections on major religions as well as on spirituality, African religions, prehistoric religions, and other broad topics. Each section begins with an introduction, followed by reference entries on specialized subjects along with excerpts from primary source documents. The entries provide numerous suggestions for further reading, and the book closes with a detailed bibliography.


  • Offers nearly 300 reference articles by international scholars of religion, women, and history
  • Provides an overview of the religious experiences of women across time, faiths, and cultures
  • Devotes sections to particular religious traditions to provide information about the role of women and the feminine devine within those faiths
  • Presents reference information about the experiences of women within religions
  • Directs the user to additional resources via suggestions for further reading and an end-of-work bibliography
Author Info

Susan de-Gaia, PhD, is lecturer in religious studies at Central Michigan University, Global Campus. Her work focuses on gender and feminist studies, religion, and popular culture.



"Essential for academic and religious institutions."Library Journal

"Overall, the work should be commended as a worthy addition to religious studies reference material at the college level, with the caveat that many of the definitions emphasize boldness over nuance, and any research project should utilize additional scholarly articles and monographs for more a richer perspective."ARBA

"Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions is a good starting point for students, and academic and large public libraries will want to add this to their collections."Booklist

"The set will be useful for those seeking information about women in a particular faith..."Choice


Best Reference Book of 2018 — Library Journal

2020 Outstanding Reference Resource — Reference and User Services Association [RUSA]

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