Afterword: Episcopal Women in the Context of American Religious Life

Bass, Dorothy C. Afterword: Episcopal Women in the Context of American Religious Life. In Episcopal Women: Gender, Spirituality, and Commitment in an American Mainline Denomination. Catherine M. Prelinger, ed. Pp. 345-351. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Dorothy Bass’s “Afterword” to the book Episcopal Women explores the role of the Episcopal Church within mainstream Protestantism and the significance of Episcopal women for American religious life. She interprets the Church’s location on the American religious map to be ambiguous in that it shares much in common with mainstream Protestantism yet is also unique in itself. Reflecting on the book’s main chapters which address “the histories, experiences, and images of women who were or are distinctively Episcopalian,” Bass identifies two major themes which address religion in America: (1) the theme of religious life, and (2) the theme of the ambiguities of women’s participation in a male-dominated church. She believes these themes as they are revealed in the Episcopal Church are crucial for the study of mainstream Protestantism and its renewal.