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The Religious History of American WomenReimagining the Past$
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Catherine A. Brekus

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831021

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807867990_brekus

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Little Slices of Heaven and Mary's Candy Kisses Mexican American Women Redefining Feminism and Catholicism

Little Slices of Heaven and Mary's Candy Kisses Mexican American Women Redefining Feminism and Catholicism

Chapter:
(p.294) 12 Little Slices of Heaven and Mary's Candy Kisses Mexican American Women Redefining Feminism and Catholicism
Source:
The Religious History of American Women
Author(s):

Kristy Nabhan-Warren

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807867990_brekus.15

Many scholars have defined feminism narrowly as the desire for autonomy, thus failing to take into account the central role of women in their families, communities, and churches. In particular, Catholic women, who venerate the Virgin Mary as the model of ideal womanhood, have been commonly accused of being reactionary or antifeminist. This chapter urges historians to reframe the narratives of Catholic history and feminism so that the more complex accounts of religion's relationship with the modern feminist movement can be revealed. Focusing on Estela Ruiz, an elderly Mexican American woman who claims to both see and hear the Virgin Mary, it shows how faith and activism have empowered lay Catholic women to reform their families and society while also transforming the culture and identity of Catholicism.

Keywords:   feminism, women, Catholic women, Virgin Mary, Catholic history, religion, Estela Ruiz, faith, activism, Catholicism

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