This study is based on clinical sociological principles derived from Durkheim's and Weber's theories, as well as from contemporary research findings which suggest that religion and feminism can be social sources of empowerment for women. The theoretical orientation therefore incorporates social and cultural influences on behavior, as well as the intrapsychic and interpersonal decision-making processes characteristic of other therapeutic modalities.
Two life histories show ways in which feminism and religion reinforce women's personal growth, and expand the scope of their contributions to society. Influences of feminism and religion on these women's beliefs are examined, as well as how redefining responsibilities during clinical sessions—by deepening and broadening understandings of "God's will"—changes their behavior. Sociological practitioners can benefit from understanding how feminism inspires some women to work for their individual and collective empowerment through engaging in religious practices (prayer and meditation) which give emotional support to their questioning of traditional beliefs defining patriarchy as God's will. Clinical outcomes suggest that feminism and religion can motivate women clients to redefine reality and change behavior by encouraging reassessments of their understandings of God's will and their individual and social responsibilities.
Hall, C. Margaret
"Femenism, God's Will, and Women's Empowerment,"
Clinical Sociology Review:
1, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/csr/vol13/iss1/5