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Resist and Persist

Faith and the Fight for Equality

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Westminster John Knox Press
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We are in the age of double standards and impossible expectations; a never-die patriarchy that is sanctioned by every institution: capitalism, government, and even—maybe especially—the church itself. We need to change the conversation.

Pastor and author Erin Wathen provides a new language of resistance that can free women and men from the pernicious power of patriarchy. This is a book for a new generation of feminists who have more opportunity than our mothers and grandmothers ever dreamed of. It is also for all the women who have never felt they had a place in this fight. The work of equality must include women of every age and ethnicity, as well as men who will be allies, advocates, and partners for the journey.

But even more than that, if women are ever going to be fully free and equal in modern culture, it is going to take the voice of the church calling loudly for that equality. The language and stories of our faith point to an ethic of justice, inclusion, and empowerment. Without women’s voices fully heard, we cannot be faithful to that gospel calling. Resist and Persist is a conversation in the direction of change.

Perfect for group study, there are questions for reflection and discussion at the end of each of the ten chapters.

Also perfect for book clubs! Download the Reading Group Guide.

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Erin Wathen is pastor of Grace Immanuel United Church of Christ, in Louisville, Kentucky. Ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Wathen has served churches in that denomination and on the staff of Week of Compassion. She is author of More than Words: 10 Values for Modern Families and Resist and Persist: Faith and the Fight for Equality, which was honored as a Foreword Reviews INDIES Award finalist and among Publisher's Weekly's top five religion books of 2018.

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Named one of the Best Books of 2018 by Publishers Weekly (Religion)

“Jesus was a feminist,” writes Wathen (More than Words), senior pastor at Saint Andrew Christian Church, in this wonderful book about the many ways patriarchal Christianity affects women’s lives. “The Jerry Falwell set are clutching their pearls right about now,” she adds, with the same wry humor that permeates this intellectually hefty, unflinching critique of everything patriarchal, including the health policies of Mike Pence and misogynistic Bible passages. Wathen is frank in her assessments of the deep-set problems that she sees patriarchy causing in women’s lives—pitting women against women, creating “pink ghettos” (isolated women’s groups) within church communities, and combining with racism to further divide women who should be relying on one another. Wathen looks at society and Christianity through a feminist and antiracist lens, mounting powerful arguments about why it’s essential to raise boys as feminists and how social media can be especially dangerous for women. Each of Wathen’s chapters ends with a set of questions for discussion, a helpful tool for teachers and professors. This trenchant book is a much-needed manifesto for 21st-century Christian feminism. --Publishers Weekly

“I loved her thesis, for instance, that the church is uniquely positioned to take on the problems of patriarchy and racism. I also greatly appreciated her points that the starting point is the church setting its own house in order, but also laying aside the bounds of 'politeness' to assertively call out or call in these issues—and to train women within their ranks to assertively address the issues that come up, including the subtler forms of these systemic issues.”
—D.S. Leiter, Englewood Review of Books 

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