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A New Gospel for WomenKatharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism$
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Kristin Kolbes DuMez

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190205645

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190205645.001.0001

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Virtue, Vice, and Victorian Women

Virtue, Vice, and Victorian Women

(p.27) 2 Virtue, Vice, and Victorian Women
A New Gospel for Women

Kristin Kobes Du Mez

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 traces three popular movements that helped establish and promote the compatibility of faith and feminism in late-Victorian Protestantism: the women’s missionary movement, temperance reform, and the social purity crusade. As a pioneering medical missionary to China, as a temperance worker in 1880s Denver, and as an intrepid anti-trafficking activist working to combat the sexual double standard and the institution of prostitution in Victorian society, Bushnell was active in each of these endeavors. Although she would never abandon her belief in the compatibility of Christianity and feminism, Bushnell’s work in missions, temperance, and purity revealed to her the shortcomings of patriarchal Christianity, and ultimately inspired her to write her own feminist theology. The chapter also situates Bushnell in terms of the literature on gender, missions, and empire, and explores the enculturation of Christianity in Western and nonwestern settings.

Keywords:   Christianity, feminism, temperance, social purity, women’s missions, prostitution, double standard, anti-trafficking, Protestant

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