Deadline: 30 April 2012
Submitted: Women Finding and Leaving Extreme Religion tells the stories of women from a variety of religious backgrounds, ages and races who chose a religious path only to eventually reject or modify it in whole or in part.
Submitted: Women Finding and Leaving Extreme Religion asks the questions:
Why, in a time when women have more freedom than ever before, would a modern woman chose to follow a religious tradition that appears to distance her from those freedoms and take away her choices so coveted by societal norms?
How and why do we as women agree to join rigid religious groups, what happens once we do and what does it take to leave what we, at one time, accepted willfully?
Submitted: Women Finding and Leaving Extreme Religion explores the religious experience:
Getting In – Why did we agree to join such rigid, traditional life-styles? How, when and under what circumstances did we convert, join or otherwise submit to a theology and/or set of rules created by and enforced largely by men?
Life Inside – Why did we stay? What sacrifices did we make both in joining and in remaining? What does it look like from the inside? When did we have doubts about our choices? And how were these expressed or repressed? What particular burdens did we bear as women in our communities? What did we find valuable that we feared we couldn’t find on the outside?
Leaving – When did we discover we needed to leave? How did we leave? What do we miss? And are we allowed to admit that we miss it? What did we sacrifice in leaving? What did we gain? Are we ever tempted to return? How do we address/express our spirituality now?
Note for those interested in submitting:
What we, the editors, are looking to see are slice-of-life stories. For example, if you choose to submit for the “Staying in” section of the book (answering the questions about how and why women stay for so long in faiths that, in retrospect, have controlled and limited their lives), you might choose to let the reader see into one time when the elders came to correct you. What did you serve them? What were they wearing? How did they start the conversation? What were the implications of not doing what they asked you to do? In other words, you are the only one who can bring us right in to your experience and how and why you needed your particular religious community during that time in you life.
At this point, we are especially hoping to hear from women from Jewish and Islamic backgrounds, but are still considering stories from women of other religious backgrounds, as well.
Stories should focus on aspects of religious life which might include food, modesty, religious meetings, holidays, work, children, clothing, secrets, converting others, prayer, or marriage/sex.
The book will be divided into three parts: Conversion, Life Inside, and Leaving. Submissions should be around 3000 words in length.
For inquiries/ submissions: contact the editors here