Sallie Rochester Ford: Fiction, Faith, And Femininity: Nineteenth-Century Baptists Offered Two General, And Different, Cultural Messages to Women Within the Church Regarding Social Expectations.
Baptist History and Heritage, 2005, Summer-Fall, 40, 3
Baptist History and Heritage
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The first, and most predictable, message addressed gender roles and signaled the preeminence of piety over power, submission over supremacy, and maternalism over masculinity. The "true" Baptist woman, in this way, resembled the cultural ideal for most American women. (1) The second Baptist message, however, afforded women status as soldiers of the faith: not just as pious paragons of virtue, but as aggressive warriors in the coliseum of pluralistic American religious life. Through this second role, Baptist women could assert the strength and resilience of the independent baptistic spirit. Historical studies of Baptist women tend to focus on their institutional work as they labored to create important mission societies, reform agencies, and educational organizations. Sallie Rochester Ford (1828-1910) figured in this regard as a courageous, and even controversial, leader in the late-nineteenth-century drive to create a woman's missions organization. Ford's efforts to establish the Baptist woman's voice in what would become the Woman's Missionary Union would secure her place as, in Catherine B. Allen's words, "the best-known women's leader between 1882 and 1888." (2)
- Category: History
- Published: 22 June 2005
- Publisher: Baptist History and Heritage Society
- Print Length: 14 Pages
- Language: English
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