The Pitch of a Woman's Voice: Paradigms in Preaching and Power
AuthorLjunggren, Margaret Lorraine
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This project focuses primarily on the voices of female preachers. The interest arose from personal experiences as a woman whose voice has been challenged and questioned as well as encouraged and sustained both within the life of the church and in the world-at- large. The timing of this project is important in light of the ways in which women’s voices continue to be opposed, oppressed, or silenced. This project discusses the use of language in sermons as well as how the absence of certain language benefits preachers and listeners alike. Because the Women’s Movement and Feminist Theology overlooked the additional challenges faced by women of color, the writings of Womanist Theologians and preachers are included. This is followed by considering the metaphor of ‘voice.’ The project offers ‘real-life’ experiences of a group of diverse women preachers as they undertake using their voices in varied settings. Their generosity extends to offering examples of their own sermons for our edification and inspiration. This work provides preachers serving in a variety of ministry settings an overview of the still- unfolding theological reflections of women as well as guidance on applying feminist and womanist theology to the process of sermon-writing. An overarching goal is to encourage preachers, particularly women, to find and use their voices for the benefit of all of God’s people. An appendix is provided for those desiring to read more about the relationships between gender, patriarchy, and power, and the contributions made by feminist theologians past and present.