Lancaster Conference Spiritual Guidance Seminar
February 9, 2002
(updated for MW USA web site, November 2008)
by Marlene Kropf
Introductory remarks by Marcus Smucker:
The question of how to understand the similarities and differences between male and female spirituality today is often complex, sometimes perplexing and/or even threatening. Spiritual direction is about seeking to understand, as well as we can, the experience of the persons we are guiding, rather than bringing our own overlay into those experiences. It is a reality in the church that for many years, much of women’s spiritual experience has been interpreted through male eyes and male writers. Although there are certainly many similarities between men’s and women’s spirituality, today we will look at how these experiences are unique and different.
In the beginning I want to reflect on some basic understandings about male and female from the creation story in Genesis. God created humans in the image of God – male and female. This suggests there is something about God’s creation of male and female that reflects the image of God. God is beyond gender, but God created us male and female so that together we reflect more fully who God is and what God is like.
Let’s look at some of the ways we as humans reflect the image of God. We often identify our rational capacities as being godlike. Likewise we might identify our reflective capacities (Genesis 2.2-3), our spiritual nature (Gen. 2.7), and our intimate personal nature (Gen. 2.18) as being expressions of the image of God. The “helper fit” in Genesis 2.18 portrays a relationship of equality where male and female respond to one another in face-to-face communication, a mirroring relationship.
As beings created in the image of God, our gender identity is particularly significant because we are created male and female as a way of enhancing and enriching relationships, as a means of mutual interaction and communion. Built into creation are the dynamics of attraction (Gen. 2.18) and attachment or bonding (Gen. 2.24). Attraction and attachment in human experience are larger than male and female relationships, but the male-female relationship highlights this dynamic. Attachment can be seen in Genesis 2:24: “leaving and cleaving”, bonding. We’re all created for bonding relationships. If we don’t bond well, our lives are distorted. If we do bond well, our lives are enriched.
In male-female relationships, we must also consider cultural issues. Our cultural patterns may either help us better understand gender differences, or they may create differences that weren’t intended. The dynamics of male-female relationships are also influenced by personal experiences. When we work with males and females in direction, we do need to be aware of what the experience of the person is in the culture and at a particular time. As we do direction, we need to tease these dynamics apart to understand them and appreciate the different experiences of each person.
Not only male and female but the family in some sense replicates Trinity. I understand God to be a Triune being who lives in radical relationship: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer). The triune image portrays God as being in a radical relationship of love and communion with complete openness to one another. That is also what is intended in male-female relationships. Instead, our gender relationships have often become adversarial and over-against-each-other. As spiritual directors, we hope through our deep understanding and love for one another to be able to join in the deep communion that God calls us to experience by joining with the experience of the Trinity. God invites to be ushered into the love and communion experienced by Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As Marlene presents, I would like for the men in this group to try first of all to understand women’s experience before we critique what is said. I’ve listened many times to Marlene speaking on this subject, and I think she has some important handles on women’s experience. I’m appealing to us to understand first before we critique what is said.
Presentation by Marlene Kropf:
Though Marcus and I have been teaching this topic together for a decade, we never know how the discussion will turn out. That’s partly because we speak out of our own individual experiences (which continue to change) and also because we do not know how your experience will affect our discussion. I’ve learned to say in the beginning that this discussion will be good news for some people in the group and likely will be bad news for others. I’m OK with that tension. When we explore this territory, we are bound to be in a variety of places because of differences in culture, gender, roles, and the uniqueness of our own personal experiences. I’m also aware that this discussion is taking place in the context of Lancaster Conference.
In your written report, one of you asked why we are talking about male and female spirituality in terms of unique characteristics when many of us have spent the last 35-40 years emphasizing how men and women are alike. That’s a good question, a fair question. Out of our first-hand observations during a couple decades of experience as spiritual directors of both women and men as well as out of our reading and study, Marcus and I have developed convictions that we bring for discussion: we believe gender does make a difference in direction.
Teresa of Avila once said:
The very thought that I am a woman is enough to make my wings droop.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, said:
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior. For God has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on, all generations will call me blessed.
These two contrasting quotations represent the ends of a continuum: women with “drooping wings” on one end, and women known as “blessed by the whole world” on the other end. Both can be accurate descriptions of women who come for spiritual direction.
Women’s reality is complex. Muriel Rukeyser once said: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” And I think that’s what’s been happening during the last century, particularly during the last 50 years. In a great burst of energy at the beginning of the last century, women won the right to vote. The latter half of the century is the time, however, most of us know better – a time of enormous cultural and social changes, a time during which women have been trying to tell the truth about the lives we live. There’s probably no skill in which women are better schooled than to be dishonest. To learn to tell the truth is an enormous act of courage – and beyond that, to tell the truth in ways that can be heard! When, after being schooled to be dishonest all her life, a woman starts to tell the truth, it’s natural that she may not tell it in very pleasant ways and may not please the ears of her hearers. A woman stumbling to learn to tell the truth may not be very elegant or very sensitive. She may not even be fully truthful because she doesn’t yet know what all she’s trying to say. It will be an awkward process. And so I’m appealing to you, along with Marcus, to try to understand what that journey has been like, and particularly for today, because we have a much narrower focus, to look at what has happened in women’s spiritual lives because of what takes place in our culture, because of what we see from our Scripture tradition, and also what we experience in our own families.
Rather than starting with spiritual development, let’s look first at human development for a moment and then come back to the question of what this means for spiritual development. This theme connects with the conversation we had at our last session: what does human wholeness look like? Is it the same thing the developmental psychologists help us to understand, or is wholeness, in spiritual and biblical terms, something slightly different? In 1978 Daniel Levinson conducted a research project on development using all male samples, a fact that was known in his research (in contrast to Kolhberg and some others who used only male subjects in their studies of human development and then made conclusions which were represented to be true of all human beings). Levinson concluded, “In our culture, a vision of glorious achievement shapes the character and life of a man.” By that he means a picture of “glorious achievement” is the image that boys, young men, live with from the beginning – an expectation created by our culture which also guides men in that path. Relationships for men in North American culture exist, then, for the purpose of achieving that dream of “glorious achievement.” So for men, achievement comes first and relationships second — for the sake of the dream.
The successful male in North American culture usually has a mentor – most often male, who facilitates the realization of that dream. Any of us could point to men whom we’ve seen hand-picked, tutored and guided for successful roles, whether it’s in the family business or the church or the community. Wise, older men are on the look-out for younger men whom they can mentor into that role — a very important relationship for men.
The other important relationship for men is with a special woman, a helpmate who encourages the hero to shape and live out his vision. Again we could point to public examples in our culture – Elizabeth Dole and Bob Dole, for example. We could also look at Hilary Clinton and understand why she was so heartily disliked by many when she tried to step out of the helpmate role in the early days of the Clinton administration – an action which was totally unacceptable in, presumably, enlightened, liberated North America. So the mentor and the special woman help the hero shape and live out this vision. Levinson says, “The road to salvation for men leads through achievement and/or separation. The model for a healthy life-cycle is a man who is distant in relationships – friendship is largely noticeable by its absence – and goal-oriented.” A man who is distant in relationships, and who is goal-oriented – these are requirements for male achievement.
Even though I taught English literature for many years, I never caught on to this theme while I was teaching: all the heroes in the western literary tradition are male. From the Odyssey to Beowulf to Shakespeare’s dramas, only male figures are the heroes in Western literature. The whole Western tradition supports this vision of the male as the glorious achiever within the context of the quest/mastery theme. Even in Shakespeare, where you have female heroines in the plays, for example in “As You Like It” or “Twelfth Night”, the female characters have to disguise themselves as males for most of the play. They do all their “doing” in a male disguise, and then they return to their female identity at the end when it’s time for marriage and relationships.
So, it’s a fascinating cultural conclusion: you can’t have an achieving woman. You can’t have a woman who is bright, who is vision-oriented, who is goal-oriented, who is achievement-oriented – and have a socially acceptable woman. You can’t have that even in the best literature of the Western world (though I still believe Shakespeare has the deepest, broadest understanding of human nature of any writer of the Western world, even he has to go through these tricks; perhaps he saw what was going on, but in order to be received or understood in his world, he had to disguise women’s true possibilities and power).
So, then you might ask, if goal-orientation is what it takes for men to succeed in our culture, why not just BE this if you are a woman? Can women not be successful human beings by adopting the male paradigm? An excerpt from the first recorded psychoanalytic case, the story of a woman who is given the pseudonym of “Anna O” (originally written up in Sigmund Freud’s 19th century Studies in Hysteria), helps to answer that question:
This young woman had been forced to discontinue her education when she was 16 years old in order to devote herself to caring for an invalid father. Her brother, though not nearly so gifted, was sent to law school. The woman developed various psychosomatic symptoms and was helped through what she called the ‘talking cure’, to work through the unconscious guilt and resentments she felt. Her identity was disclosed about 30 years ago, long after her death. She is now known to have gone on to an outstanding career as a writer, a social reformer, a feminist thinker, the director of a Jewish orphanage, and founder of the Federation of Jewish Women. Her real name was Bertha Pappenheim. Her memory was commemorated in a West German postal stamp.
When a number of contemporary psychoanalysts were asked to comment on the case of “Anna O”, the majority of them failed to associate her breakdown with the rigid societal expectations for women in the late 19th century, or with the confining personal circumstances forced on such a talented young person. Further, they tended to dismiss her later accomplishments as little more than an extension of still unresolved psychological problems which pushed her into energetic social activist pursuits and devotion to causes instead of to relationships. Clearly, if a man had accomplished even a portion of what Bertha Pappenheim did in her lifetime, it is unlikely that his work would have been attributed to unresolved psychological problems. Rather, he would have been praised for his drive, his vision, his intellect, humanitarian spirit, social concern and achievement-orientation.
All of which is to say that if a woman tries to follow the male achievement pattern, she’s still going to be labeled “sick” or “unhealthy” or “unsuccessfully resolving the growth-challenges of her life.” So, we must hold these two together: what our culture says about developmental health for women and what scripture points toward.
To turn more directly now to women’s spiritual development, I think it’s important to remember that in the beginning, in pre-history, much of religion was matriarchal, not patriarchal. Archaeologists and anthropologists have found ample evidence that the first gods humans worshiped were female, not male. I don’t find that hard to understand at all. Who gives life? Women are the life-givers, the birth-givers. So if you’re living in a primitive, pre-scientific culture and you’re trying to understand what is the source of power in this cosmos that we inhabit, it isn’t hard to understand how people would conclude, “Oh, it’s feminine power.” There’s a feminine principle at the core of reality because this is how life comes forth – from women. If you want to read more about this anthropological work, a good source is a book called The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd – a well-written story of a conservative Baptist woman whose study of this topic initiated a spiritual revolution for her which affected her marriage, her relationship with the church, and her relationship with herself. She writes:
For many thousands of years in pre-history, before the rise of the Hebrew religion, in virtually every culture of the world, people worshipped the Supreme Being in the form of a female deity. What happened is that in some cases, she was conquered, sometimes violently by cultures worshipping a male sky god. Not only that, but her memory was maligned, distorted and suppressed. She was hardly mentioned in history books. With her disappearance came sweeping demotion in women’s status. Concepts of female inferiority and subordination began to develop in earnest.
Now think of what you know about Greco-Roman mythology, how Jupiter or Zeus is superior to Juno or Hera. Already at this stage, the shift has begun. But we can also see traces of this shift in Scripture. In the Old Testament, for example, the Israelites struggle with the Canaanite cult of Ba-al and Asherah, god/goddess of fertility – remember the battle on Mt Carmel between Elijah and the worshipers of Ba-al, a successful domination of the feminine impulse in that religious tradition. That struggle continues throughout history, expressed in witch hunts, witch trials, and many other ways in which the feminine connection with the divine has been suppressed, destroyed.
When we come to our own time and culture, most of have been taught to be wary of the word “goddess” (without any awareness of this longer history in the world). Of course, neither the ancient female god nor the male image of God that came with the Hebrew tradition is what God intends for us. That is why Marcus’ reminder in the beginning is so helpful: there is a vision preserved in our sacred texts which, if we look for it hard enough, shows us that male and female together are meant to embody and represent who God is. So just because god was imagined as female doesn’t make that concept better or right; and just because the male sky god trounced the female god doesn’t make that concept better or right. Rather, I think we find ourselves in a time and place where we need to rediscover an even more original vision and ask: how in our world can we help people experience the fullness of God’s presence when the distorted lenses of culture and history so often obscure our vision of God?
So, to come now to the point of our discussion: a particular woman who is in spiritual direction. A woman’s deepest experience, and thus a profoundly religious or spiritual experience, is a negation of self. To realize her full femininity, a girl must wait to receive, whereas a boy must meet a challenge. In our gendered world, we experience an active-passive division of reality, and so a woman’s deepest experience of herself is that she should not be, or that self should be made smaller, less important, less alive, because in the culture her role is to support the dominant male. To summarize for our purposes here, the major difference between women and men in spiritual development has to do with relationality and autonomy — autonomy being connected with achievement and relationality being connected with negation of self.
So if this is the path of the feminine, what does a woman typically do? If she doesn’t have a genuine self, she will attach herself to other selves. She negates her own self, attaches herself to the hero or whoever is being supported or blessed in the situation, and she becomes very skilled in relationships. She learns how to connect, how to attach. Thus because of this well-developed capacity to relate, women tend to relate to God more easily than men, tend to be more open to spiritual experience. That’s not only true in the Christian tradition but tends to be true among other religions as well. On top of that, in a religious tradition where the God we worship is a relational God, a God who reaches out to make covenant with us, it’s certainly understandable how women would be attracted to Christian faith (a fact which has been true since the beginning of the Christian movement – the gospel of Jesus Christ is good news for those who yearn for meaningful relationships). Even though men have become the dominant leaders of the Christian movement, it is women who have been the devoted adherents of the Christian faith.
Look, for example, at the typical proportion of male to female worshippers on any given Sunday in any church in North America. You will see more women there than men. Christian faith proclaims a God to whom women can relate, a God who reaches out to them desiring to be in covenant relationship with them. Understandably, it’s a very attractive image for women.
However, not all is well. The quality of relationship that women have with the divine may be overly dependent and flawed. Men typically struggle with intimacy with God. For women, the challenge is to achieve autonomy, an appropriate relationship of worth and agency with God. So, just because a woman is reaching out for relationship with God doesn’t mean she is automatically going to have a healthy relationship with God. Instead she may be mired in a very flawed, distorted relationship. I think I hear women more often than men say things like, “Well, that’s the way God wanted it.” That impulse to submit to a relationship, to receive whatever the authority out there says, and to give up all sense of unique, personal worth and agency, comes naturally to women. Though we women may sound more spiritual or look more pious because we go to church more faithfully and pray to God and love God and work for God more devotedly than men, we may still be experiencing a very unhealthy spirituality at the core. I hope you will hear clearly that this capacity for relationship, which seems to be an advantage to women, isn’t necessarily a strength in the spiritual life. It may get you in the door of religion, but it may not get you any farther than that. On the other hand, men, who have difficulty getting in the door, once they get in the door, may have what it takes, may have the potential for a far healthier relationship with God.
Let’s turn now to the issues for spiritual and pastoral care which arise from these understandings. If a woman comes for spiritual direction, the first thing, the first place I stand with her, is to believe and see her as “at risk” spiritually (though there are also ways men are at risk, they are not the focus of this conversation). As I’m sitting there facing a woman, the framework I bring to the conversation is that she’s “at risk” spiritually (because of the historical and cultural realities described above), and she’s also probably “at risk” in the church. The church may not have been a nurturing place for her. Though I keep looking for this to change with young adult women, it hasn’t happened yet in nearly 20 years of practicing spiritual direction. I still find women “at risk” in the church and in their own relationship with God. Do they want a relationship with God? Yes, they certainly do. They’ve known God’s love and care. They want to grow in this relationship, but they experience obstacles, blocks. And if we don’t tend those obstacles in spiritual direction, there’s a good chance they aren’t going to get tended anywhere else. Spiritual direction may be the only safe and open place for a woman to go on this difficult journey — from conventional to critical faith, from co-dependence to autonomy, and on to interdependence. Where normal psychological and emotional development is not encouraged in families and in the church and in culture, the woman who comes for direction – though her heart is in the right place, probably comes with a damaged and distorted spirituality. Though I rejoice when I find it otherwise, that’s rarely the case.
After beginning with the “at risk” assumption, the next starting place is this particular woman’s own experience of God, her own personal awareness of God, her stories of feeling close to God or far from God (let it be noted that in all spiritual direction, with either women or men, one always begins with the person’s unique experience of God). I ask the woman: “How have YOU experienced God in these past weeks?” But what I’m alert to listening for here is helping her find language for her real experience, rather than the experience she’s been told she’s to have. In other words, she may not yet have language for her own experience. She may be telling the story in a way that doesn’t even uncover the deepest levels of what that experience is, what God is actually saying to her. Fairly often, I may need to ask, “Now who is the God in the story you just told? Who is the God that this story reveals?” And very often the God in the story is not the God we know in Scripture. Rather, the picture she may have been describing of God may be something else: “Well, no, that’s a really judgmental God, isn’t it? That’s a really unaccepting God. That’s a demanding God. That can’t really be who God is.”
What we’re doing in direction is trying to uncover the functional image of God, and then ask whether this image is an accurate depiction of the God who has been revealed in Jesus Christ. We must uncover this discrepancy in the stories she tells, the images that she, in fact, lives with, images that are overlaid by cultural expectations of who God is, and then set these images alongside revealed scripture and the experiences of God’s people throughout history. Very often, of course, a woman discovers a male God. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if she doesn’t name God as male or names God as female — God still acts like a male. Even if a woman has been on a journey where she begins to see God as both male and female, her experience of God can still be subtly distorted.
So, we start with a woman’s own unique experience. But just as it is necessary to understand how a person’s image of God can become distorted, it is also necessary to see how a woman’s view of her self as a person and as a Christian can also be distorted. Typically, for example, women will believe some behaviors or attitudes to be sinful that really aren’t; and she won’t see some things as sinful or destructive that really are. In other words, not only is God distorted by these layers; her vision of her self in God’s sight is also distorted. When a woman is not in full possession of herself, she will lay on herself unhelpful definitions of sin. What she typically hears preached against in church are male sins. What gets named and labeled as sin is what would be typical for someone who’s on the autonomous, goal-oriented path, not someone who’s on the self-negating path (remember that most preachers are, of course, typically male).
In her ground-breaking article in the 70’s, Valerie Saiving wrote about women’s sins in ways that transformed people’s understandings of this dynamic. She says: “Men have taught women to beware of typically male vices, like pride, aggression, disobedience to lawful authority, all the ways in which one could misuse the drive toward autonomy.” Those are the sins most often proscribed in the church. So when women look at themselves they say, “Oh dear. I cannot be a proud person. I cannot be an aggressive person. I can’t disobey lawful authority.” And because we’re relational, we’re really conscientious about these things. The typical male sins are all sins against relationship. Women are in a position to know very well the harm done by these sins, so they determine that they won’t commit those sins. Remember – women are the ones who are in church in the first place, listening to the sermons, internalizing the messages—but unfortunately, they are internalizing messages better directed to men.
What women don’t hear, of course, is what their own sins are! Nobody’s preaching or telling us what we need to beware of. So we go along, trying to repent of sins we didn’t commit, and not repenting of the sins we have committed – thus missing out on the growth and transformation to which Christ calls us. Unhealthy spirituality persists.
So what are women’s sins? Valerie Saiving identifies women’s sins as weak submissiveness. Fear. Self-hatred. Jealousy. Timidity. Self-absorption. Small-mindedness. Submersion of personal identity. All the things that go along with negating of self. Not taking our place in the world. All the weakness, all the fear, all the caution, all the manipulative things we learn to do in order to survive in this world (the oppressed class always learns manipulative behavior; that’s how the oppressive class survives). Further, we are rarely called to repent of these sins.
Even though at times women may look like better Christians than men, I don’t think this is the case. To hold up the meek, submissive, gentle, self-negating individual as the ideal Christian doesn’t look a lot like Jesus to me. Jesus was so much more than that. He knew when to be gentle. He knew when to give his life for the sake of others. But he also knew how to be who he was called to be. That is the territory we must explore with women.
In spiritual direction, women often need to discover/rediscover biblical models for their own growth. Sometimes the ways we’ve heard scripture stories have been distorted. We haven’t been able to see what is really happening in the story because of our cultural and religious overlay. Take the story of Mary, for example – the wonderful prototypical disciple, the first disciple. She is the first Christ- bearer in the world. And if you look at that story carefully, what often hasn’t been preached (though it is being preached more fully today) is the courage of this young woman, the spunk of this young woman to talk back to the angel. She doesn’t accept what the heavenly messenger asks her to do – in the beginning. “How can this be?” she asks. She is an independent agent in this story, in dialogue with God. And God seeks her consent. Otherwise, this is a very painful biblical story – a story of divine rape. God invites her participation, seeks her consent in this story, and when she says in the end, “Let it be to me as you have said”, she freely joins what God is doing in the world. What God wants is our freely given, self-consciously chosen response.
Who knows that dynamic better than Anabaptists? We believe God wants our “yes,”not an unconscious or coerced response. And so we need to tell Mary’s story in a new way – it is the story of a woman who has agency and worth, who willingly joins what God is doing, and God Almighty respects that choice. Who knows how many women the Spirit overshadowed before coming to Mary, inviting them to become the bearer of Christ? And how many women quailed in fear and said, “No, I’m not going to do this”? That’s not the response God was looking for. I think God was looking for a woman who would bear the Christ, who could nurture this child in a way that would make it possible for Jesus to receive and accept his own identity. God was looking for a woman of personal power.
The Samaritan woman would be another example. Jesus wants to give her the spring of living water within, wants her to know that living water is within her. She no longer needs to be dependent upon external sources; she has direct access to God’s presence and power every morning, and noon, and night of her life. And upon that discovery, she becomes a powerful evangelist.
Many other biblical stories offer models of what it’s like to be a woman of power and agency, joining with what God is doing in the world. But we often have to do recovery work to find those. In spiritual direction I’ve sometimes invited women to pray the Gospel stories where a woman meets Jesus, to pray a particular story for a month, and to come back and reflect on it in the next direction session. The stories of Jesus’ encounters with women provide everything we need for this transformation (using the Ignatian method to pray gospel stories is a helpful approach).
In spiritual direction with women, we also need to expand and re-name women’s experience of God as Creator, of Jesus, and of the Spirit. Here is where our contemporary language issues challenge us and make our work difficult. The English language (with gendered pronouns) does not serve us well when we try to name or speak of God. That is why sometimes images-of-God language can be helpful. We can help women think about WHO God is, name their experience of God, and let them derive their own language for the One they relate to, rather than trying to use traditional theological language for God. Language can be transformed, and it is being transformed, but traditional language may need to be rejected, at least temporarily, in order to facilitate women’s growth.
In spiritual direction with women, we may need to look more closely at how a woman uses or experiences Scripture. Women do read the Bible. They pay attention to the Bible. They expect to find in Scripture the guidance they need for their journey. But women may also distort and misinterpret the story. Scripture may become an agent of domination and dehumanization to them. Remember the Conventional-Critical-Interdependent journey? The Conventional view of the Bible may not be all that healthy for women because of the way it deprives them of their own truth. When women move into the Critical stage, they may need to reject the Bible because they can only hear bad news from it, not good news. And it is really important for a woman to have good spiritual direction during such a time. It takes careful guidance to retrieve the treasure that Scripture is, when it has been used as a bludgeon or tool to damn us or make us feel worthless and has, in fact, obscured God. Women can’t rely on the Bible as a source of authority and guidance when such damage is done.
Our bibliography lists a number of fine books on women’s spirituality but also includes books that help women reappropriate the Bible. These are resources that can help women continue to engage with scripture and remain in touch with the tradition while bypassing (for the time being) some of the more blatantly sexist issues related to the scripture tradition. See, for example (and you may want to have copies of these on hand to loan to women):
Ahlers, Womenpsalms (Saint Mary’s Press, 1992).
Bowe, Silent Voices, Sacred Lives: Women’s Readings for the Liturgical Year (Paulist, 1992).
Henderson, Remembering the Women: Women’s Stories from Scripture for Sundays and Festivals (LTP, 1999).
Merrill, Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness (Continuum, 1998).
Richardson, Sacred Journeys: A Woman’s Book of Daily Prayer (Upper Room, 1995).
Rienstra, Swallow’s Nest: A Feminine Reading of the Psalms (Eerdmans, 1992).
Winter, Woman Prayer, Woman Song: Resources for Ritual (Meyer Stone, 1987).
Winter, WomanWisdom: A Feminist Lectionary and Psalter – Women of the Hebrew Scriptures: Part One (Crossroad, 1991).
Winter, WomanWord: Women of the New Testament (Crossroad, 1990).