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The main aspects of religion — faith, ritual, religious experience, and ways of organizing religious communities — have been the subject of much research. The study of religion is carried out by philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists. A special area of ​​research is the expression of religious feelings in art. Ethnographers from different countries embarked on dangerous trips to describe the religious customs and artifacts of some small people living on an island lost in the ocean.

Religion is one of the most important resources for substantiating gender roles, but religious issues do not belong to the favorite subjects of gender analysis. There are several reasons for this.

Gender theory is one of the critical theories that not only describe the prevailing social order, but also analyze it in terms of injustice, inequality or asymmetry (a cultural analogue of the concept of social inequality). Empirical gender studies are aimed at describing the gender system (order) as a whole or the gender regime (R. Connell's term) of individual social subsystems (economics, politics, education, science, marriage, etc.) and organizations. The description of the gender regime involves a description of the gender composition, gender norms and roles within individual religions and religious organizations - official religious communities and free associations of believers. Among the norms, for example, in conservative Judaism is the division of the space of the synagogue: women pray separately from men, even if they belong to the same family. It is possible to describe the gender regime of religious organizations either from within - from the position of a believer, or from the position of an observer who does not profess this religion.

A description of the gender regime from the inside does not imply criticism or revision of the existing system. This system is justified either in divine scripture or in tradition-illuminated tradition. So, hiding the body and face of a Muslim woman from the point of view of an outside observer is a sign of her oppression and passivity (and the removal of a veil or hijab is, accordingly, a way of gaining freedom and legal capacity by a woman), while for herself it is part of her national and religious identity, authenticity and bodily integrity.

From within the religious world, the contestation of religion’s traditional gender roles sanctified by religion is perceived not as an answer to the changing conditions for the existence of gender groups, but as a challenge, as a threat to God-given morality and social order.
There is a conflict between upholding the rights of a discriminated, from the point of view of an external observer, gender group, on the one hand, and the principle of freedom of conscience and religion, that is, respect for the faith and religious practices of another person, on the other. Apparently, this is the main reason for the resistance of religious studies to a gender approach.

However, religious systems are undergoing changes that affect the gender dimensions of religion.

Alexander Block in 1905 wrote:

Girl singing in a church choir

About all the tired in a foreign land,

About all the ships that went into the sea, About all who forgot their joy.

So her voice sang, flying into the dome, And a ray shone on a white shoulder,

And each of the gloom looked and listened, As a white dress sang in the beam ...

And we take the female voice in the church choir for granted. However, women were not always allowed to sing in the choir of the Orthodox Church, as well as to be members of the parish council, to perform the work of an accountant, educator, etc. Despite the fact that the church is a very conservative social institution, the roles of men and women in it are still constant are changing. Sometimes these changes arise in connection with the needs of adaptation of a religious community to a changing external environment. This happens, for example, in the case of migration, when a fairly conservative community finds itself in a more liberal social environment. In some religious groups, such as most reformed Protestant and Judaic congregations, lay men and lay women have equal responsibilities and powers.

In a short essay, it is impossible to describe in detail what are the gender contours of different religions and how they are changing. But since religion is not only an important element of self-awareness, or, as sociologists say, identities, but also political power, it makes sense to outline these outlines at least with a dotted line.
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    No man with a sense of humor was the founder of religion. Robert Ingersol In this chapter ... · Pagan times · Laughter and Christianity · Other worlds
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