Diversifying the Lutheran Prayer Book
So, as you all know by now I compiled a prayer book and self-published it through Amazon’s Createspace program. I did it that way in order to create a version of it that was pretty by the time of Dr. Wengert’s retirement shindig.
Well, a kind soul reminded me that by selling the thing, especially in the bare bones form it was in, I was breaking copy right… not really something one wants to do… obviously.
Since then I added a bibliography and the NRSV’s required permission to what’s out there, as well as shifted the pricing in such a way that I’m getting no royalties, all as a show of good faith.
And now I’m sending out letters to various publishers to ask permission to use the material contained in the book (yes, what I’m doing is sort of like building a plane in mid-flight). The interesting thing is they all want to know what percentage of their content is in the book… So I dutifully counted everything out and even made little charts… you might remember I like charts.
Well, I started to dissect this information and was confronted with the paupacy of my work… specifically, I saw my work as modern parallel of Doberstein’s “A Lutheran Prayer Book” that updated the language, made it gender inclusive, and increased the diversity of voices within it.
Here are the results:
9% of the authors in the prayer book are women:
15% are non-white: