This page will eventually provide access to a comprehensive bibliography of resources related to Australian Women in Religion. An example of the type of bibliography that will be created on this site can be viewed on the website of the Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies.
Resources will be combined from a number of existing bibliographies and new items will be added over time.
This thesis examines the Christian feminist group, ‘Women and the Australian Church’, (WATAC). WATAC’s aim was to raise the consciousness of women on Christian feminist issues in order to facilitate ‘a change in the understanding of the role of women in their participation in the Australian Church and the broader society’. Funding from hierarchical bodies was received until 1988. The national level organisation and communication, which had been created by nun women, ceased in 1989. Since August 1989, WATAC membership and communication has floundered as women, mostly laity, sought to continue the activities which had begun under the WATAC name. The history and development of this group provides a situation in which to examine, from a feminist perspective, the kind of processes and stresses that may aid or abet women’s attempts to gain equal recognition for themselves in the Australian Church. This study analyses the relationships between nun women and lay women, and between each of these groups and the Catholic Church hierarchy. The result of this research indicate that structural and attitudinal characteristics inherent in the stereotypical definitions of lay women’s and nun women’s place in the Australian Church are still operative. They have inhibited WATAC women’s attempts to work together to bring about change in the perceptions of women’s role in Catholicism. The radical potential of the group was quelled as a result of nun women’s hierarchical position in the relations of power.
DMinStud, Melbourne College of Divinity, 2007
MTheol, University of Divinity, 1994