In Africa, why have so many more women converted to Christianity thanmen? What explains the appeal of Christianity to women? What does religiousconversion mean for the negotiation of gender and ethnic identity? What role doesreligious conversion play as a tool for empowering women? In The Church of Women, Dorothy L. Hodgson looks at how gender has shaped the encounter between missionarypriests and Maasai men and women in Tanzania. Building on her extensive experiencewith Maasai and the Spiritan missionaries, Hodgson explores how gendered changeamong Maasai has shaped women's notions of religious faith, religious practice, andspiritual power. Hodgson explores the appeal of Catholicism among women in EastAfrica, the enmeshing of Catholic practice with Maasai spirituality, and the meaningof conversion to new Christians. This rich, engaging, and original book challengesnotions about religious encounter and the role of ethnic identity, female authority, and power among Maasai.