A Woman’s Lectionary

“…congregants exposed to the bible more broadly and deeply, and see them equipped to engage the sacred texts of their tradition critically, with nuance. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Wilda Gafney Brite Divinity School Contact Me

About this sabbatical grant for researchers

The overwhelming majority of Christians receive their scripture mediated through a lectionary. Those lectionaries are not simply as androcentric as are the scriptures, but in my experience, women are even less well represented than they are in the biblical text. To the degree that biblical texts function as scripture for religious readers, it ought to be possible to tell the story of God and God’s people through the most marginalized characters in the text. Though the bible is an androcentric document steeped in patriarchy, I expect a women’s lectionary to demonstrate and grapple with the gender constructs of the text rather than romanticize heroines.

This project is the creation of two different lectionaries, a single year lectionary that can be added to current lectionaries, and an alternate three-year lectionary that could potentially replace the current male-focused lectionary, or serve as an alternative. This lectionary will conform to the current four-lesson structure of the RCL and Episcopal lectionaries and engage the liturgical themes of the Christian calendar. The primary work of this project will be to identify those texts and their potential liturgical applications.

Specifically, I intend to do the textual and calendrical work myself in consultation with the Rev. Dr. Martha Simmons, founder of the African American Lectionary Project and with small working consultation groups of lay women and clergywomen from multiple denominations in geographical clusters in the US, Northeast, Southwest, West Coast, and Midwest. I have tentatively identified interested clergywomen in these regions. The funds would also provide travel funds to meet with my consultation groups and Dr. Simmons, and to compensate them for their time and labor. While designed for use in an American context, the lectionary will attend to the diversity of ethnic and national identities in the scriptures and the multifaceted identities of those who interpret the scriptures.