Ordained Women in the Early Church: A Documentary History

Ordained Women in the Early Church: A Documentary History

by Kevin Madigan
     
 

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In a time when the ordination of women is an ongoing and passionate debate, the study of women's ministry in the early church is a timely and significant one. There is much evidence from documents, doctrine, and artifacts that supports the acceptance of women as presbyters and deacons in the early church. While this evidence has been published previously, it has

Overview

In a time when the ordination of women is an ongoing and passionate debate, the study of women's ministry in the early church is a timely and significant one. There is much evidence from documents, doctrine, and artifacts that supports the acceptance of women as presbyters and deacons in the early church. While this evidence has been published previously, it has never before appeared in one complete English-language collection.

With this book, church historians Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek present fully translated literary, epigraphical, and canonical references to women in early church offices. Through these documents, Madigan and Osiek seek to understand who these women were and how they related to and were received by, the church through the sixth century. They chart women's participation in church office and their eventual exclusion from its leadership roles. The editors introduce each document with a detailed headnote that contextualizes the text and discusses specific issues of interpretation and meaning. They also provide bibliographical notes and cross-reference original texts. Madigan and Osiek assemble relevant material from both Western and Eastern Christendom.

Editorial Reviews

Religious Studies Review

No academic library (and particularly seminary library) will want to be without this book.

— Leslie Baynes

Catholic Biblical Quarterly

Finally, readers have a single compendium in English of the evidence that women did hold church office as deacon, presbyter, and bishop, not simply as spouses of male officeholders and not in heretical sects but in their own right and in the Catholic Church.

— Maureen A. Tilley

Currents in Theology and Mission

Madigan and Osiek bring considerable scholarly expertise and experience to this difficult task.

— Bonnie Flessen

Henoch

A thorough, well-researched, and lucid documentary history.

— Daniel Keating

New Blackfriars

It is impossible to come away from this excellent, erudite and evenly argued book without some very uncomfortable questions about how women in the church have from the beginning been fitted into wider society's conception of what is appropriate and expedient.

— Morwenna Ludlow

Journal of Religion

An excellent resource for deeper study of original texts as well as for informed entry into current ecclesial discussions of practice and polity.

— Francine Cardman

Catholic Historical Review

Madigan and Osiek have produced the best, most comprehensive, and extremely useful documentary history to date regarding the ordination of women in the early church.

— William Tabbernee

Church Times

The richly varied texts introduce us to a remarkable group of women.

— Rev. Dr. John Binns

Theological Studies

A masterful compilation and translation.

— Phyllis Zagano

Distinctive Diaconate
Thanks to this work, most of the pieces of the jig saw of the history of women in the diaconate are laid out before us.

Review of Biblical Literature
Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek's collection and analysis of the historical documents on the topic is important and relevant to church historians and modern church leaders alike.

Church of England Newspaper

Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek... have done the important work of bringing together into one volume all known Greek and Latin references to women deacons and presbyters.

— Andrew Gregory

Church Times - Rev. Dr. John Binns
The richly varied texts introduce us to a remarkable group of women.

Review of Biblical Literature - Mary Coloe
An invaluable resource for all who are interested in the historical evidence relating to the ordination of women as deacons and presbyters in the early centuries up to roughly the sixth century.

Church of England Newspaper - Andrew Gregory
Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek... have done the important work of bringing together into one volume all known Greek and Latin references to women deacons and presbyters.

Theological Studies - Phyllis Zagano
A masterful compilation and translation.

Currents in Theology and Mission - Bonnie Flessen
Madigan and Osiek bring considerable scholarly expertise and experience to this difficult task.

Henoch - Daniel Keating
A thorough, well-researched, and lucid documentary history.

Catholic Biblical Quarterly - Maureen A. Tilley
Finally, readers have a single compendium in English of the evidence that women did hold church office as deacon, presbyter, and bishop, not simply as spouses of male officeholders and not in heretical sects but in their own right and in the Catholic Church.

Religious Studies Review - Leslie Baynes
No academic library (and particularly seminary library) will want to be without this book.

Journal of Religion - Francine Cardman
An excellent resource for deeper study of original texts as well as for informed entry into current ecclesial discussions of practice and polity.

New Blackfriars - Morwenna Ludlow
It is impossible to come away from this excellent, erudite and evenly argued book without some very uncomfortable questions about how women in the church have from the beginning been fitted into wider society's conception of what is appropriate and expedient.

Catholic Historical Review - William Tabbernee
Madigan and Osiek have produced the best, most comprehensive, and extremely useful documentary history to date regarding the ordination of women in the early church.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781421401577
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
02/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Robin Jensen

This publication will be very welcome to a wide audience that will include interested general readers as well as more advanced students of the history of early Christianity and will make a substantial contribution to the field.

Robin Jensen, Vanderbilt University Divinity School, author of Face to Face: The Portrait of the Divine in Early Christianity

Meet the Author

Kevin Madigan is the Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University. Carolyn Osiek is the Charles Fischer Professor of New Testament (retired), Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University.

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