Scanzoni, Letha Dawson 1935-

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Scanzoni, Letha Dawson 1935-


Born October 9, 1935, in Pittsburgh, PA; daughter of James Jackson (a businessman) and Hilda Dawson; married John H. Scanzoni (a professor of sociology), July 7, 1956 (divorced, November 2, 1983); children: Stephen, David. Education: Attended Eastman School of Music, 1952-54, and Moody Bible Institute, 1954-56; Indiana University, A.B. (with high distinction), 1972. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Presbyterian. Hobbies and other interests: Movies, theater, music (trombonist), pet Persian cat, aerobic exercise.


Home and office—Greensboro, NC.


Writer. Village Missions, Lookingglass, OR, rural church, music, and youth worker, 1958-61; writer, 1962—. Speaker at universities and conferences.


Evangelical Women's Caucus (member of executive council, 1978-82), SIECUS Associates, National Organization for Women, National Council on Family Relations, Phi Beta Kappa.



Youth Looks at Love, Revell (Westwood, NJ), 1964.

Why Am I Here? Where Am I Going?, Revell (Westwood, NJ), 1966.

Sex and the Single Eye, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1968, published as Why Wait?, Baker Book (Grand Rapids, MI), 1975.

Sex Is a Parent Affair: Sex Education for the Christian Home, Regal Books (St. Louis, MO), 1973, revised edition, Bantam (New York, NY), 1982.

(With Nancy Hardesty) All We're Meant to Be: A Biblical Approach to Women's Liberation, Word Books (Waco TX), 1974, 3rd revised edition, W.B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1992.

(With John H. Scanzoni) Men, Women, and Change: A Sociology of Marriage and Family, McGraw (New York, NY), 1976, revised edition, 1981.

(With Virginia Ramey Mollenkott) Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? Another Christian View, Harper (San Francisco, CA), 1978, revised and updated (with Virginia Ramey Mollenkott) edition published as Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? A Positive Christian Response, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1994.

Sexuality, Westminster (Louisville, KY), 1984.

(With David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together? A Christian Case for Gay Marriage, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 2005.


Gary Collins, editor, The Secrets of Our Sexuality, Word Books (Waco, TX), 1976.

Harold Twiss, editor, Homosexuality and the Christian Faith: A Symposium, Judson (Valley Forge, PA), 1978.

Family Factbook, Marquis (Chicago, IL), 1978.

Perry Catham, editor, Christian Social Ethics, Baker Book (Grand Rapids, MI), 1979.

Lina Mainiero, editor, American Women Writers, Volume I, Ungar (New York, NY), 1979, Volume III, 1981.

John M. Holland, editor, Religion and Sexuality, Association of Sexologists (San Francisco, CA), 1981.

Janet Kalven and Mary I. Buckley, editors, Women's Spirit Bonding, Pilgrim Press (New York, NY), 1984.

Contributor to Christian Century, Faith at Work, Daughters of Sarah, SIECUS Report, Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, Utne Reader, and other periodicals. Contributing editor, Radix; former editorial associate, Other Side. Editor of Christian Feminism Today (formerly titled EEWC Update); also the content provider for the EEWC Web site.


Letha Dawson Scanzoni once told CA: "As a Christian and a feminist, I am interested in writing about religion and social issues—particularly with regard to changes in male-female roles and relationships. I also do quite a bit of travel and speaking on these subjects. Other areas of interest in my writing and speaking are biblical interpretation, marriage and family, domestic violence, friendship, sex ethics, and sex education. Sociology is of equal interest and is an area in which I try to keep current and plan to do further writing."

Scanzoni's book All We're Meant to Be: A Biblical Approach to Women's Liberation, written with Nancy Hardesty, was first published in 1972 and has undergone two revised editions. The authors focus on the roles of women in society, especially in the home and church. The third revised edition includes a new preface outlining the book's history and new discussions into issues such as feminism backlash and caring for older parents. It also includes a study guide. "This new edition is designed to meet the sensitivities and needs that have come into view in recent years," wrote Claire Mamola in Women and Language.

Scanzoni collaborated with David G. Myers to write What God Has Joined Together? A Christian Case for Gay Marriage. The book was called "a nice intro to progressive Christian perspectives" by Peter Meredith writing in Mother Jones. The authors delve into issues such as being a gay Christian and the idea of Christians accepting gays. They also present a case for establishing the validity of gay marriages. Craig L. Nessan, writing in the Christian Century, noted: "They honor opponents of gay marriage by taking very seriously the chief objections to greater inclusiveness for homosexual persons in the life of congregations." Sheila Peiffer wrote in Library Journal that the book is a "concise and compelling compilation of sociological, biological, and scriptural theses." Noting that the authors' "tone is calm, respectful and balanced," a Publishers Weekly contributor added that "this book cannot be pigeonholed, and that in itself is refreshing."



Advocate, July 5, 2005, Patrick Letellier, "David Myers," interview, includes discussion of What God Has Joined Together? A Christian Case for Gay Marriage, p. 4.

Christian Century, June 28, 2005, "Reformed Church Author OKs Gay Marriage," interview with author, p. 13; December 13, 2005, Craig L. Nessan, review of What God Has Joined Together?, p. 48.

Library Journal, August 1, 2005, Sheila Peiffer, review of What God Has Joined Together?, p. 93.

Mother Jones, December, 2005, Peter Meredith, review of What God Has Joined Together?, p. 73.

Publishers Weekly, July 12, 2004, John F. Baker, "Another Optimistic Notion Is that of a Book Making the Case for Same-Sex Marriage Aimed at Religiously Inclined Readers," p. 8; May 2, 2005, review of What God Has Joined Together?, p. 192.

Women and Language, spring, 1993, Claire Mamola, review of All We're Meant to Be: A Biblical Approach to Women's Liberation, p. 61.


Letha Dawson Scanzoni Home Page, (December 14, 2006).