“Mary Astell’s Unlikely Feminist Revolution: Lessons on the Role of Religion in Fighting for Gender Rights in 18th Century England,” by Brandon Withrow

The Christian philosopher and theologian Mary Astell (1666-1731) called for a counter-intuitive feminist revolution, which included the education of, and Protestant monastic community for, women (as an alternative to marriage), while simultaneously affirming a wife’s submission to her husband. This thinker argued that the Bible does not discuss gender equality, while simultaneously basing a large portion of her case for equality on Trinitarian theology. Astell’s religious nuances are reminders that the modus operandi of change is relative to the cultural and religious expectations of the world one is working in and the future one is seeking.

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