Religious Experience and the New Woman

Religious Experience and the New Woman

The Life of Lily Dougall
Joanna Dean
Distribution: World
Publication date: 01/10/2007
ISBN: 978-0-253-11242-2
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In Religious Experience and the New Woman, Joanna Dean traces the development of liberal spirituality in the early 20th century through the life and work of Lily Dougall (1858–1923), a New Woman novelist who became known as a religious essayist and Anglican modernist. Dean examines the connections between Dougall’s marginal position as a woman intellectual and her experiential, combatively iconoclastic theology, and demonstrates that through her writing and mentoring, Dougall contributed to the shaping of modern spirituality.

Lily Dougall described religious experience—the sense of the presence of God—as the "rock" of her theology. Dean observes the protean nature of this rock as Dougall moved from a submissive holiness faith, to a mystical Mauricean sense of the Kingdom of God, to the relational theology of personal idealism, and reveals how psychology, which appeared to provide scientific support for her religious beliefs, eventually threatened to undermine her experiential faith.

Author Bio

Joanna Dean is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, and teaches women’s and gender history. She is co-author of Guide to Women’s Archives/Guides des Archives sur les Femmes.

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Table of Contents

I. Coming of Age in Canada
1. An Evangelical Childhood
2. "Lovereen": An Untold Story
3. Gendering the Crisis of Faith
II. Social Spheres
4. "She Was Always a Queer Child"
5. Personal Idealism: A Theology of Relationships
6. Christian Socialism: "The Kingdom of God within Us and around Us"
III. Anglican Authority
7. The Making of a Modernist Mysticism
8. Fellowship
9. Body and Soul
10. Anglican Modernism
Epilogue: Psychology and Religious Experience