Distributed Mind

One Piece of the History of Women in Ministry

Just in case anyone ever tries to tell you otherwise, it didn't take modern feminism for women to become involved as leaders in modern church ministry (I say modern because their role in the ancient church is not as clear). I am actually not sure how far back it goes, but I knew, of course, that women were on an equal footing (in terms of teaching) among the Quakers from basically the beginning, which was in the Seventeenth Century. So they were more than three centuries ahead of modern feminism. I already knew this, but what occasions this post is a post by Suzanne McCarthy reproducing part of Margaret Fell's 1666 pamphlet Women's Speaking Justified. Regardless of whether the Quakers are right or not, the point is that women in teaching positions in the church is not directly a result of modern feminism. It may have made the practice more acceptable, but it certainly didn't create it. (Although in many of the denominations where women are ordained today, such as the Salvation Army, the practice begain in the middle of the Nineteenth Century - still too early for modern feminism.)

posted at 04:33:28 on 03/29/06 by ben - Category: Religion

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