"Christian Women in Indonesia: A Narrative Study of Gender and Religion engenders a careful balance between gender ideologies, local ethnography, social theory, Christian theology, and the challenges of doing research in the postmodern era. Sprinkled throughout the book are important missiological insights about the relationship between Christian theology and social realities, and the ways in which Christianity in Indonesia, introduced by North Atlantic Protestants and Roman Catholics, may have curtailed or encouraged gender justice in Indonesia. Given its discussion of gender and religion in Indonesia, Christian Women in Indonesia would appeal to Christians, Muslims, teachers in the non-Western world, and those interested in gender ideologies, mission Christianity, Southeast Asia, non-Western Christianity, and Christian sources of strength for women in Indonesia."—Missiology: In International Review
"Adeney’s book contributes to the largely ignored issue of Asian Christian women's resistance, agency and empowerment through formal theological training for church-linked work, a valuable process to which she herself has contributed for over a decade. . . . Admirably brief and well-written, the text includes a wide range of issues: her own personal narrative; Indonesian society in general; vignettes of various women from the north, south, and west of this almost casually assembled nation; feminist theory; advocacy; a helpful discussion on the research process; snippets of ethnography the implications of which are not always part of the argument; and the . . . inclusion of Kohlberg and others’ theories of maturity relating to the informant’s decision making. She clearly has good and close ties to the women she taught, and sets out some of the forces impinging on the lives and choices of these women. . . . A useful addition to the EuroAmerican professional responsible for both clergy and formation, the general reader who knows nothing at all of the region, as well as the theology student interested in community."—Studies in the World Christianity
"A important attempt to highlight the efforts of Christian women in Indonesia to become, if not theological and pastoral leaders in Indonesia, at least "co-workers" with male leaders in their church and academic communities. . . . [Frances Adeney] writes with empathy about the different Indonesian Christian women whose lives she has shared and touched, and because she used western moral development theories that attend to women's experience with a cultural sensitivity that validates her conclusions. . . . Her work is of value to those missioners, particularly women missioners, who wish to work with pastoral and cultural sensitivity among women of cultures other than their own. It is also an important text for western feminists who can often be unaware of more marked difficulties and challenges that confront their sisters in countries such as Indonesia."—Mission Studies
"Making use of interviews, conference notes, and participant observations during stays in Java and Sulawesi, [Adeney] tells the stories of Christian women students who used their religion as a form of gender resistance and moral agency."—Theology Digest
"One of the book's strengths is the author's own character, clearly revealed in the stories of her students. . . . This is a very helpful book with strong implications for gender justice struggles of North American women, particularly within the framework of church and university life."—Jourrnal of Church and State
This important book offers an edifying narrative of Indonesian women who find a new and powerful voice in the course of preparing to become Christian pastors and theologians in their native land. By assuming roles of responsibility, these women stand ready to transform understandings of gender differences that have traditionally governed Indonesian culture, like the notion that women are an inferior sex and not suited to leadership. In a broader sense, they join a growing global course toward gender equality and the evolution of women’s spirituality.
Frances S. Adeney clearly shows how religious-inspired resistance led these women to create new practices and theologies designed to foster parity. Realizing that Western ideas are inapplicable to foreign issues of gender and religion, the author sheds light on the twin questions of cultural isolation and the complexities of doing research in the postmodern era.
Frances S. Adeney is a professor at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She has written on ethics and spirituality in both the United States and Indonesia, including contributions to Ethics and World Religions: Cross-Cultural Case Studies, Religious Studies Review, and Buddhist-Christian Studies.
5.5 x 8.5, 176 pages