It's been nearly ten years since it released but to celebrate, I'm mostly interested in your stories
I didn’t even know what a feminist really was when I first encountered Jesus Feminist but I was at a point where the faith of my youth no longer resonated with my lived experience. I knew that to stay in love with Jesus I needed more voices in my life who understood and would talk about what I was experiencing. Along came Jesus Feminist which helped my love for Jesus to deepen while also encouraging me to love others more.
Many years ago, I mentioned your book while teaching a woman’s Bible Study to mostly over 60s women. Sadly the response was not positive. I was so disappointed. This was the beginning of my acknowledgement of my deep unrest with (what I began to learn was) conservative theology. Grateful to you and others who have forged a different path.
I came across Jesus feminist while I was attending a conservative Christian college. I was already questioning many of the social and political beliefs I had been brought up with and that were being reinforced at the school, but I was at a loss of how to incorporate those changing ideas into my faith. Jesus feminist brought it all together for me and truly, without hyperbole, changed my life. It opened up a whole word of authors, creators, voices, and teachers who I had never considered or known existed. Reading that book brought me to tears more than once and set me on a new path that I'm still exploring today. I am forever grateful for that little yellow book and for you, Sarah, for your teaching, your community building, and your consistent showing-up-ness to do this life thing in community with other people of evolving faiths. Thank you.
It‘s been a long time since I first read Jesus Feminist, but it still sits in my living room on a shelf where I can clearly see it and be reminded of that time in my life when I was beginning this exploration into something different. I’ve felt for most of my life that my opinions about church and Jesus haven’t fit in the church spaces I ended up in. And for that matter, that I really didn’t fit in. I didn’t know where else to look though (and a lot of that time I was a child and didn’t really have a choice in the churches we went to). Jesus Feminist helped me start the journey I am still on and gave me more words for what I have long felt-that something was missing in the faith I was being taught. That Jesus lived and taught something different than we often teach in churches. It helped me to have confidence to have my own opinion and to disagree with what I had been taught about myself as a woman. It helped me to find some peace in being who I am. This journey continues for me and it‘s had a whole lot of ups and downs. I am quite grateful to you, Sarah, and your writing because it connects deeply with my soul and continues to help me to feel anchored to believing in, and continuing to find, who I truly am.
There was a time (around 2015/16) where I was reflecting a lot on faith and feminism and remember googling “Jesus was a feminist.” It was this crazy conclusion I was coming to and I was curious if there were others out in the world with similar ideas. That google search led to your book and I immediately ordered it on Amazon. I had no idea what I would find as I was not into reading “Christian” books but I loved it so much and felt for the first time there were others like me; so much of what you say in the book resonated and I loved how you as a writer invited me the reader in. I soon then came to discover this whole other community out there (thank you Amazon recommendations based on my purchase history) I appreciated many things in the book but I especially loved the chapter about reclaiming the “church ladies” because it echoes so much of my longing. More I could say but will leave it there….. somewhere on the way I became a field notes subscriber:) congratulations on this milestone!
“Jesus Feminist” found me in the wilderness, when I was a wee 23, bright-eyed on my way to be a missionary. That and “When Helping Hurts” redefined my beliefs.
This book means so much. Thank you. It also got me familiar with your work, way back in the days before substack! I still remember getting email responses. It’s so cool to connect here now.
Around the time I read 'Jesus Feminist', a woman I'm close to asked, "Don't you think you're reading too many books by women?" It was such a shocking thing to hear, and it had never crossed my mind that even reading books by women could be seen as a threat. My journey into feminism has been full of stops and starts, but 'Jesus Feminist' was like a gentle on-ramp. I realize now that it is the Spirit who put the words of women along my path. Even now, as I delve deeper into my reading, into 'The Second Sex' and 'The Feminine Mystique', I still feel fear flare up when I open them, and yet, at the same time, it feels like the Spirit is leading me into those waters. That the Spirit wants me, as a woman, to be empowered to be my full self, has been the biggest surprise. The church and its tacit, and oftentimes blatant, assertion that women are somehow spiritually inferior has done a real number on me, and now I see it's one of the biggest lies I was ever sold. 'Jesus Feminist' was an early book that helped unravel that lie for me. Gentle on-ramps lead to deep waters. I'm so grateful for providing that on-ramp for me.
As a Catholic feminist and studier of faith and theology, I was feeling lonely and adrift when I found Jesus Feminist. Your writing is beautiful and relatable and I loved your book instantly.
And also, knowing that little yellow book was finding its way into the hearts and hands of like-minded people all over the world reminded me that even though I felt alone in how I viewed faith, I was most certainly not.
I forget how it came into my life, but I listened to the audiobook on my commute for a month or so and was like Oh, wait, I can find solace in God and a spiritual path, after growing up with a very complicated relationship to religion that didn't leave room for nuance or context or social justice. And I've been a fan ever since!!
To be honest, I’ve never read the book, but it’s going on my “to read list”; I’m intrigued!
I just posted to the google form. Thanks for giving introverts a place to gush! Happy birthday to such an important and excellent book.
Growing up I did not hear much about the women who followed Jesus. Much about what Paul supposedly said had been shared, but I later learned that even he was given a bad rap. I truly enjoyed a study led by another person using Jesus Feminist information, seeing myself in a new relationship with Jesus and God. (I would love to re-read it again for myself.)
I really enjoyed your book, Jesus Feminist, it has been a great resource for me to go back to again and again. As a couples counselor, I love how you describe the dynamics of a healthy marriage between equals in Chap. 5, I have used it in my work with couples. Brilliant. Thank you. I also just started a Substack account and trying to focus on women's issues.
I read Jesus Feminist a few years ago and found myself nodding affirmatively throughout. It was an affirmation of what I knew was true, but written with a graciousness that was sometimes lacking in feminist literature. Speak the truth always, and always speak it in love.
You are new to my world just this year and now so is this book. That’s my story so far. Looking forward to sharing my thoughts later. Happy 10th Anniversary to what sounds like an incredible book!
Before the first earthquake in Haiti 🇭🇹 n the late 90s , I think, I went to Haiti with 4 women friends from a Catholic religious order. The Catholic cathedral which was later destroyed had a giant mural of Jesus on the right wall of the sanctuary . One of his hands was definitely male yet the other one could not be anything butt the hand of a woman.