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DSC_0668 In my opinion it takes a village to finish a book. Only I can write the book. But the support to finish it is another thing altogether. This site is about learning practices of spirituality and ministry. Writing a book for me is both a pastoral and a spiritual practice.

So, this little corner of my website is especially for *sparks* to keep the book-writing fires burning bright.

I will not be posting sections of Anatomy of a Schism. Rather, I’m inviting those who might feel called to it, to post a bit of encouragement, a pressing question or some words of support here.

Anatomy of a Schism is mainly an academic book, but it is also: 1) a set of really human stories about women called to ministry; 2) descriptions of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and the Baptists who fought, remained, departed, and grieved its schism over the last three decades; 3) a new approach to interpreting religious schism at the end of the twentieth century; 4) a way to think about changing practices of what it means to be human; 5) and exploration of the intersection where gender and religion meet.

Later Anatomy of a Schism will be critically reviewed. At this stage, however, the name of the game is finishing the draft. And so in that spirit, I welcome your comments, questions and other support as I complete the draft and move it toward a more public voice.

4 thoughts on “Sparks”

  1. Dear Eileen,

    Molly Marshall Green recently gave me your name as someone who knows Baptist women very well. You and I may have met long ago at the NABPR conference at Baylor, also. I am a doctoral student at Duke, and I am planning to write a history/theology dissertation on missionary wives with questions about how they can help shape theology and practice of mission & evangelism today. I would love to begin a conversation with you about this and also wanted to know if you knew of any Baptist missionary wives who left journals, memoirs, etc.

    I have been reading about your new book and I think it’s a fascinating project. I myself am an ordained Baptist woman, and I was ordained by my home church which is dually SBC & CBF. I am wondering how the narratives of past Baptist women–anyone from mothers to Sunday School/GA leaders to well known women like Lottie Moon– appear and are used by the women you study (and even the men supporting/against women in ministry). Do they ever talk about influences of other women within the SBC and their own call to ministry? Do they wonder what their grandmothers or the Armstrong sisters would think or do? Or is there little awareness of past SBC women’s accomplishments, disagreements, debates, etc? Why do you think these narratives are used or ignored? I hope these questions encourage you in your project! Thanks for undertaking such an important study.

    Joy and peace,
    Laura Rodgers Levens

  2. Hi, Eileen–

    Pam and I know a little about finishing books in our family. You have the gifts and ability to finish this project. So, I am rooting for you to complete what you absolutely need to finish soon.

    When I am struggling to finish a book, I often recall the famous Pontius Pilate quote: “That which I have written, I have written.” 🙂 N.B. The whole quote is only two words in Greek!

    If you need a reader of drafts, just let me know.


  3. Eileen:

    You may not know me, but I have been interested in your writing on your blog and facebook.

    If you are in need of a publisher, please let me know. I am particularly seeking preachers and writers who are women. Let me know if I can help.


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