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The role of women refers to characteristics and behaviors of females within a religious tradition, as well as the influence that particular women have had on the development of the tradition. Long ignored, women's role is a topic that has attracted a great deal of interest and controversy since the advent of the feminist movement in the past century. While early feminists criticized religions for legitimating patriarchy, later research has shown that women's role in religion varies considerably. It varies not only across different religions but within any one religious tradition and can change significantly over time. To assess women's role, one must consider not only their place in the church or temple but also in the domestic realm. One must distinguish between official teachings ...

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