Angels on Earth brings together scholarly and creative pieces that reveal how the intellectual, emotional, and physical work of mothering is informed by women’s religiosities and spiritualities. Its contributors examine contemporary and historical perspectives on religious and spiritual mothering through interdisciplinary research, feminist life writing, textual analyses, and creative non-fiction work. In contrast to the bulk of feminist scholarship which marginalizes women’s religious and spiritual knowledges, this volume explores how such epistemologies fundamentally shape the lived experiences of diverse mothers across the globe. In emphasizing the empowerment and enrichment that women derive from their religious beliefs and spiritual worldviews, Angels on Earth invites readers to cultivate a deeper understanding of how mothers are transforming their local communities, religious institutions, and broader spiritual traditions.
Endorsements for Angels on Earth
I read this book in two sittings with building curiosity for what religious and mothering perspectives and experiences the next chapter would reveal. This book is a great addition to the field of mothering and religious studies that I highly recommend for students, scholars, and all children of mothers seeking to understand the complexity and intricacies of mothering with mindfulness and compassion in a religiously diverse world.
—Barbara Bickel, Director of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Associate Professor of Art Education, Southern Illinois University
There is a delicious irony in the title of this volume, Angels on Earth, as its essays bedevil commonly-held patriarchal assumptions about motherhood, religion and spirituality. Their focus on the ways in which mothering and religiosity/spirituality intersect in real women’s lives opens up promising new avenues of inquiry into women’s active participation in defining themselves and their worlds.
—Becky R. Lee, Associate Professor, Department of Humanities, York University, and co-editor of Canadian Women Shaping Diasporic Religious Identities
The Mother-Blame Game is an interdisciplinary and intersectional examination of the phenomenon of mother-blame in the twenty-first century. As the socioeconomic and cultural expectations of what constitutes “good motherhood” grow continually narrow and exclusionary, mothers are demonized and stigmatized—perhaps now more than ever—for all that is perceived to go “wrong” in their children’s lives. This anthology brings together creative and scholarly contributions from feminist academics and activists alike to provide a dynamic study of the many varied ways in which mothers are blamed and shamed for their maternal practice. Importantly, it also considers how mothers resist these ideologies by engaging in empowered and feminist mothering practices, as well as by publicly challenging patriarchal discourses of “good motherhood.”
Endorsements for The Mother-Blame Game
The Mother-Blame Game brings the issue of societal mother-blaming to the forefront thereby forcing recognition of its prevalence for all mothers, and particularly for mothers who are “othered” by age, race, class, ability, sexual orientation, physicality or any additional “othering” factor. What makes this book particularly powerful is that it offers critique but also possibilities for transformation, thus revealing how mother-blame can be reversed and how we as a society can work to create greater acknowledgement and value for all mothers.
—Melinda Vandenbeld Giles, editor, Mothering in the Age of Neoliberalism
This book offers a unique examination of mother-blaming in the twenty-first century through its interdisciplinary collection of critical discussions, intersectional research, and personal accounts. The chapters have the necessary diversity that a phenomenon as complex as mother-blaming requires. We are presented with progressive approaches to feminist theory and research that are captivating to read because of the attitude of ethnographic authenticity and critical thinking throughout. I found myself becoming increasingly engaged as I was reading it.
—Helena Vissing, M.S.
Mother of Invention is an interdisciplinary collection that combines feminist theory with life writing to explore the diverse ways that mothers, whether or not they themselves identity as “feminist,” inspire feminist consciousness in their daughters and sons. It features creative and scholarly contributions from feminist academics, activists, writers and artists from different educational backgrounds, places and walks of life. While not an exclusive celebration of maternal relations, this collection provides an antidote to matrophobia and mother-blaming by critically exploring and affirming the myriad of challenges and complexities that constitute motherwork. It explores how the mothering of feminist daughters and sons intersects with issues of gender, sexuality, dis- ability, ethnicity, racialization, citizenship, religion, economic class, education, and socio-historical location. Collectively these essays explore the centrality of intergenerational matrilineal narratives in shaping feminist consciousness, they deconstruct dominant ideologies of patriarchal motherhood and womanhood, and they challenge the notion that there is a formulaic way to raise feminist daughters and sons, or a singular “correct” way to engage in feminist maternal practice.