Religion: Situation Report

THE democratic spirit of Protestantism gave women their first opportunity in the U.S. as preachers, ministers, and even founders of denominations. Mary Baker Eddy started one of the nation's only female-dominated religions, Christian Science; though the denomination has no ordained ministers, a majority of its 5,848 "practitioners," or healers, are women. More recently the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, founded by Aimee Semple McPherson in the 1920s, has followed a similar pattern: today at least 40% of its 2,690 clergy are female.

More traditional denominations of U.S. Protestantism have been slower, but are coming round. U.S. Presbyterians in the North began...

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