Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Communication Studies

First Advisor

Darrin Hicks, Ph.D.


Christianity, Confession, Femme fatale, Memoir, Performance, Queer


Women and queer folk are changing the religious landscape of Christianity in America, and the scope of visibility for these figures and their apostolic endeavors is widening as more and more Christians are seeking out communities rooted in doctrines of love and connection rather than exclusion and hegemonic piety. Thinking on this phenomenon, this dissertation focuses on the intersectional dilemmas of faith practice and rhetorical discourse with Western Christianity, particularly as it revolves around those female pastors and clergy - considered "dangerous" by many within the church - who are advocating for a more inclusionary church space. By conducting a rhetorically-motivated investigation centered within feminist and religious dialogues, this project attempts to answer the following questions: How can the femme fatale, as read through a lens of queer performativity, be a hallmark of identity-making for women within religious spaces? How does the rhetorical act of confession, specifically the memoir, work as a performative tool of resistance when used by the "femme fatales of faith" What do the alternative and 'out-law' narratives and embodiments of Nadia Bolz-Weber, Paula Stone Williams, and Pamela Lightsey speak to in terms of female church leaders marking themselves as "femme fatales of faith?"

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Kelsey Waninger Minnick


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

195 p.


Communication, Rhetoric