Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Education


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Karen Monkman. PhD

Second Advisor

Amira Proweller. PhD

Third Advisor

Thomas Noel. PhD


This dissertation is a qualitative study of the effects of Greek Orthodoxy on the gender and religious identity meaning-making of five Greek-American women. The emergent themes from this study indicate that participants’ gender and religious identities were heavily influenced by the dueling tensions and contradictions between patriarchy and feminism, conservative traditionalism and modernity, and secular life and the religious community (i.e., family and church). Underpinning this study are Narrative Identity Theory and Feminist Standpoint Theory. Portraiture methodology was employed across three semi-structured interviews, as well as three written/video reflection journals to reveal how women, as articulated through their own perspectives, made meaning of their lived experiences at the intersection of their gendered and religious identity constructions. The results of this study suggest that these participants (un)consciously navigate the impact of patriarchal ideology, power, privilege, and oppression by finding goodness in small acts and feelings of connectedness as a basis for the development of their personal agency, voice, and womanhood. Implications for research, Orthodoxy, and practice are discussed.