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Women Bishops and Rhetorics of Shalom

A Whole Peace

Leland G. Spencer

Women Bishops and Rhetorics of Shalom: A Whole Peace argues that the theological concept of shalom offers a way forward for progressive Christians who want to advocate for social justice based on their faith in an increasingly globalizing world characterized by many faiths. To do so, the book considers the rhetorical leadership of three women bishops who are all “firsts” in important ways: Marjorie Matthews, the first woman bishop in any mainline Post-Reformation church, Leontine Kelly, the first woman bishop of color in any mainline church, and Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to lead a national church in the Anglican Communion. This book is recommended for scholars interested in communications, religious studies, and gender studies. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 136Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4985-4369-9 • Hardback • May 2017 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4985-4370-5 • eBook • May 2017 • $84.99 • (£54.95) (coming soon)
Leland G. Spencer is assistant professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary and Communication Studies and affiliate faculty member in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Miami University.
Chapter 1: Exploring Shalom
Chapter 2: Bishop Marjorie Swank Matthews: Liberal Ideological Warrants and the Unrealized Potential of Shalom
Chapter 3: Bishop Leontine Turpeau Current Kelly: Toward an Ironic Prophetic Rhetoric
Chapter 4: Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Possibilities for a Progressive Civility
Chapter 5: The United Methodist Church and Human Sexuality: An Eschatological Horizon?
Conclusion: Multiple Paths to Shalom
About the Author
Spencer’s compelling, nuanced analysis of women bishops’ rhetoric offers keen and timely insights about intersections of gender, power, religion, and politics. Yet it is his articulation of shalom as a model for peaceful community that takes my breath away—Spencer’s vision offers hope, guidance, and a call for social and political transformation based on the eloquent words of trailblazing women of God. A must-read for scholars and students in rhetoric, women’s and gender studies, and social change!
Laura L. Ellingson, Santa Clara University

Women Bishops and Rhetorics of Shalom: A Whole Peace locates an intrepid “shalom,” in the sermons of three ground-breaking (and ground-making) bishops in the Christian Church…Spencer reveals how each woman navigates the waters in her singular manner, embodying and advancing a courageous shalom, co-constructed by persons from all religious backgrounds—and from none—as a vision of active and fully inclusive peace, across religious, racial, ethnic, gender, and all lines that would divide us.

Elizabeth Nelson, University of Minnesota, Duluth

Leland G. Spencer invites readers along a path that is at once scholarly and transformational. The feminist rhetorical analysis offered in this study of the language of pioneering women bishops is skillful, integrated, and expansive. Professor Spencer’s re-visioning of the concept of shalom as it uniquely unfolds in their sermons calls forth the strength and hope of shared values in a world that far too frequently battens down the hatches against difference. Each chapter reminds the reader, through compelling display of Spencer’s intellect as he considers the words of the bishops, that feminist scholarship is as propelled by deep desire for learning as it is for social change. The goodness and grace of Professor Spencer’s message, culled from the sermons of the bishops, is not to be missed, either by seasoned or aspiring language and communication scholars.
Carol L. Winkelmann, Xavier University