The Power of Female Friendship: Remembering Karen McCarthy Brown by Carol P. Christ

Another tribute to Karen McCarthy Brown by Carol P. Christ.

Karen Brown 1985

News of Karen Brown’s recent death came via email from a mutual friend of ours, Christine Downing.

There are many things that can be said about Karen’s life and career, including that she won prizes for her life’s work Mama Lola in scholarly associations in the fields of religion and anthropology, that her work has been influential in bringing the study of Vodou into the scholarly mainstream, and that it has been inspiring to women of color.

Here I will focus on the years when our friendship provided crucial support for our audacious scholarly work. I first met Karen through the New York Feminist Scholars in Religion, a group Anne Barstow and I organized in 1974 that nurtured work on women and religion for many of us, including besides me and Karen, Judith Plaskow, Naomi Goldenberg, Ellen Umansky, Lynn Gottlieb, Beverly Harrison, Nelle Morton, Elisabeth Schussler…

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