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When Women Were Priests: Women's Leadership in the Early Church and the Scandal of Their Subordination in the Rise of Christianity Paperback – April 15, 1995
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As women have attained rights to ordination in various denominations (Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist) and even other religions (the first woman to be ordained a rabbi in the United States took place in 1972), increasingly scholars have come to re-examine the role of women in the early church, and have been arguing with mounting evidence and persuasiveness that this is not a new phenomenon, but rather a recapturing of women's roles that have periodically existed in both Jewish and Christian communities.
The question of the gender of a priest (the requirement by Roman Catholics, as in the Vatican's 1976 Declaration on the Question of Admitting Women to the Priesthood that priests be in the bodily image of Christ, for example) brings into question sexuality and the common perception of women by society. When Barbara Harris was consecrated at the first female bishop in the Episcopal Church (USA) in 1989, Time magazine made a reference to her red nail polish--as if this has anything to do with her qualifications; but of course, it has everything to do with the way people perceive the issue.
Torjesen examines multiple sources of ancient data to show evidence that women were preachers, prophets, pastors and patrons in the early Christian movement. Some of these can be found in the Bible itself.Read more ›
Threaded within the introduction to historical findings and theories such as recent evidence of women's prominent roles in Christian churches from the first to thirteenth centuries, the history and current condition of women's ordination marks this text as one with possible insight into this controversy. The book itself attempts to help the reader understand why and how women were pushed out of leadership roles they once held. Torjesen has four major sections, as reflected in the introduction, to her argument that the "...patriarchal norms of the Greco-Roman gender system..." influenced the eventual elimination of prominent roles for women in the church.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great purchase! The book arrived on time and in excellent condition. I'm very pleased with my purchase and would do business with this seller again in the future. Thanks!Published 3 months ago by RR
I am still working my way through this scholarly piece. This weekend I met two priests, one Catholic and one Anglican, who had no idea that women had ever been priests, and this... Read morePublished 7 months ago by writemaggie
For those in the above reviews who state there is not enough evidence, she does mention historian Otranto who was probably the first one to claim women had been a part of the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Everett Caldwell
I am looking forward to reading this book and seeing how the early church compares to the church after Constantine when everything became increasingly institutional especially as I... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
Didn't really provide much evidence to support the premise. Doesn't appear that there were actual ordained women priests.Published 19 months ago by Moe
I decided to read this book after seeing listed in an EdX course ("arly Christianity: The Letters of Paul"). Read morePublished 22 months ago by Charles Franklin