One Faith, Two Authorities

Tension between Female Religious and Male Clergy in the American Catholic Church

Jeanine E. Kraybill
Book Cover

PB: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1382-6
Publication: Mar 19

HC: $74.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1381-9
Publication: Mar 19

Ebook: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1383-3
Publication: Mar 19

174 pages
5.25 x 8.5
5 tables, 19 figs.

Examines the tension between the male-dominated hierarchy and female religious leaders in the American Catholic Church

Read the Introduction (pdf).


While female religious have grown to possess a sense of personal authority in issues impacting the laity, and have come to engage in social-issue-oriented activities, religious institutions have traditionally viewed men as the decision-makers. One Faith, Two Authorities examines the tensions of policy and authority within the gendered nature of the Catholic Church.

Jeanine Kraybill looks at the influence of Catholic elites—specifically within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious—and their opinions on public policy and relevant gender dynamics with regard to healthcare, homosexuality, immigration, and other issues. She considers the female religious’ inclusive positions as well as their opposition to ACA for bills that would be rooted in institutional positions on procreation, contraception, or abortion. Kraybill also systematically examines the claims of the 2012 Doctrinal Assessment against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

One Faith, Two Authorities considers whether the sisters and the male clergy are in fact in disagreement about social justice and healthcare issues and/or if women religious have influence.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction
2. Navigating the Hierarchy: A Look at Female and Male Religious Leadership, Political Engagement, and Influences
3. Evaluating the Doctrinal Assessment: Positions, Priorities, and Mobilization Efforts
4. Evaluating the Claims of the Doctrinal Assessment Continued: Frames and Language Styles of the LCWR and USCCB’s Policy Statements
5. On Cue: The Impact of Catholic Religious Elite Messaging on Lay Public Opinion
6. Male Clergy and Female Religious: A Concluding Note on Living the Faith from Two Types of Authority


About the Author(s)

Jeanine E. Kraybill is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Bakersfield. She is the editor and contributing author of Unconventional, Partisan, and Polarizing Rhetoric: How the 2016 Election Shaped the Way Candidates Strategize, Engage, and Communicate. Her work has been featured in Fieldwork in Religion and the Journal of Communication and Religion, as well as Oxford’s Encyclopedia for Religion and Politics.


In the Series

  • Religious Engagement in Democratic Politics edited by Paul A. Djupe

    The Religious Engagement in Democratic Politics series, edited by Paul A. Djupe, will collect work that explores in theoretically and empirically rigorous ways variations in and determinants of religious presence in the politics of democratic nations—€”from those with a long history of institutionalized democracy to those struggling to establish free, contested elections and systems of rights and liberties. Books in the series will demonstrate application of one or more of a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodologies to explore the robust and highly variable presence of religion in democracies. Prospective authors should contact series editor Paul Djupe or Senior Editor Aaron Javsicas at Temple University Press to discuss their work in progress for inclusion in the series.