Introduction: Motherhood, Religions and Spirituality
Coventry University, GB
Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor is Research Fellow in Faith and Peaceful Relations in the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University. She specialises in the Sociology of Religion with particular emphasis on democratic research methodologies that seek to worth with and for research participants. She is author of Muslim Women in Britain: Demystifying the Muslimah (Routledge, 2012), co-author of Religion or Belief, Descrimination and Equality: Britain in Global Contexts (Bloomsbury, 2013) and of Islamic Education in Britain: New Pluralist Paradigms (Bloomsbury, 2014), and co-editor of Digital Methodologies in the Sociology of Religion (Continuum, 2015).
Gill Rye is Professor Emerita and Director of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women's Writing at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London, where she also led the cross-cultural, interdisciplinary Motherhood in post-1968 European Literature Network, which was funded by the AHRC in 2012 and 2013. She has published widely on contemporary women's writing in French, specialising in representations and narratives of motherhood. She is author of Narratives of Mothering: Women's Writing in Contemporary France (University of Delaware Press, 2009) and editor or co-editor of a number of volumes on contemporary women's writing. She is also series editor of the Studies in Contemporary Women's Writing book series, published by Peter Lang.
This Editors’ Introduction to the special issue on ‘Motherhood, Religions and Spirituality’ serves to explain the rationale, research questions and context for this interdisciplinary collection. As such, it engages with Kawash’s call for more scholarly work on the intersections between mothering and religious beliefs, practices and experiences. It goes on to situate the contributions into feminist work and methodologies and to show how they focus on the voices and agency of mothers (and non-mothers), before introducing and contextualising the individual contributions. The Introduction concludes by discussing further studies that could build on the work of this collection.