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Because of Beauvoir
Christianity and the Cultivation of Female Genius

By Alison E. Jasper

Because of Beauvoir
Hardback, 215 pages $39.95
Published: 1st November 2012
ISBN: 9781602583214
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Religious Studies, Women's Studies

Because of Beauvoir does what many say is impossible: it demonstrates how women can flourish, without conflict, while being simultaneously Christian and feminist. Alison Jasper offers a vision of Julia Kristeva's "female genius" as the capacity of women to thrive and cultivate intellect within and across different cultural and theological environments. Using the writings of English women from the 17th through the 21st centuries as living profiles, Jasper draws upon the creative power in the lives of real women to recognize and retrieve a female subjectivity—one that determines how women see and are seen after Simone de Beauvoir.

Part I
1. Beauvoir and The Second Sex
2. Female Genius and Christianity
3. Kristeva and Female Genius

Part II
4. Jane Leade
5. Hannah More
6. Maude Royden
7. Michële Roberts


"In a manner that is both scholarly and deeply engaging, Jasper offers her own radical re-interpretation of the creative genius of women. Her work draws our attention to the fact that women have been the 'ingenious' shapers of spiritual knowledge as well as prophetic authors of secular criticism. Contemporary feminists are thus challenged to re-examine what counts as a feminist tradition and what we can learn from women's distinctive interventions in discourses of the divine."

—Heather Walton, Centre for Literature, Theology and the Arts, University of Glasgow

"The lucidity of Jasper's prose, the interest of her case studies in part 2, and the breadth of her framing in part 1 will make this book useful in undergraduate settings."

—K. L. Brintnall, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, CHOICE Advance

“…Because of Beauvoir is not only a valuable contribution to the feminist literary, historical and theological tradition of uncovering, reclaiming and reinventing women’s heritage previously suppressed and concealed by patriarchy. It is also a call for feminism, whether in secular or religious guises, to acknowledge the richness and complexity of that very heritage, in order to be better contend with the challenges of today.”

—Anna Fisk, University of Glasgow, Literature and Theology

"Jasper’s compelling presentation...will appeal to scholars of women’s lives and writing, whether in literature, philosophy, or religious studies."

—Leigh Pittenger, Christian Brothers University, Religious Studies Review


Alison E. Jasper is Lecturer in Critical Religion at the School of Arts and Humanities in the University of Stirling, Scotland. She is the author of The Shining Garment of the Text: Gendered Readings of John's Prologue.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 215 pages
 9in x 6in

  REL015000, REL070000, SOC028000
 Baylor University Press

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