Encyclopedia of Gender and Society
The Encyclopedia of Gender and Society (EGS) contains articles on a broad variety of topics, among them the intersection of religion with gender and society. As the encyclopedia’s introduction states, “In addition to its importance as the central aspect of personal experience and identity, gender can be studied as a social factor that has tremendous impact on economic, cultural, religious, legal, and political institutions”. Scholars who hold the understanding that there is no completely unbiased perspective will find the resource and its subject matter a helpful overview of the many levels on which gender and society interact. The discipline of Gender Studies within the fields of religious studies and theology becomes more important as more people learn about the many ways in which gender shapes one’s personal and institutional experiences.
The editor of the EGS, Jodi O’Brien, has spent over a decade in the field of gender studies. As the chair of and professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Seattle University, she shows a strong commitment to studying the places where gender and society meet. She recognizes, however, the inherent challenges in creating and compiling a work of this nature and states, “We knew from the outset that it would not be possible to provide a comprehensive compendium of all the scholarship on gender and society” . The EGS is not intended as an exhaustive work of everything related to gender studies, but is important in its variety. The EGS provides scholars with an adequate starting point for delving more overtly into the field of gender studies, covering such diverse topics as “Black Feminist Thought,” “Men’s Magazines,” and “Transgender Political Organizing.” The EGS has a very broad variety of topics in its nearly 500 entries, and almost 300 contributors (most of whom are located in the United States) provide a helpful plurality of voices on those topics.