Anatomy of a Schism is rooted in several academic disciplines (history, theology, psychology). Each clergywoman’s story stands on its own. Then each woman’s story is interwoven with other aspects of Baptist life and sources of Baptist identity (i.e. sermons, historic Baptist principles, published stories of other clergywomen, etc.), showing the resonance between personal narrative and social change.
The book asks people to see how clergywomen’s stories give shape and substance to a new interpretation of a larger Baptist story of schism. Because I’m asking readers to see the situation in a novel way, I must help them know how to approach the book and understand its arguments. Giving instructions for how to read is a primary task of the book’s introduction. That’s where I am today.