Triumph over Silence: Women in Protestant History

Triumph over Silence: Women in Protestant History

Triumph over Silence: Women in Protestant History

Triumph over Silence: Women in Protestant History

Synopsis

This timely and fascinating historical study of Protestant women will increase the appreciation of their continuing struggle for acceptance within their churches and of their contribution to the success of the Protestant movement. An introductory chapter traces the origins of female subordination and exclusion from the preaching ministry, a practice that was reinforced by Protestant interpretations of Scripture. In essays contributed by recognized specialists, women's roles both in the early development of Protestant sects and in supporting established churches are examined, and their contributions--through teaching, charitable activities, donations, writing, speech making and publishing--are noted. This volume includes an account of Protestant women's involvement in reform movements and their prolonged struggle for ordination and acceptance in the preaching ministry.

Excerpt

One of the truisms worth remembering about scholarship is that each generation writes its own history. Revisions occur when contemporary circumstances change enough to foster new perspectives in the minds of those who ask questions about the past. New awareness creates a fresh sensitivity to what can be learned from previous experience. Asking new questions often leads to discovering neglected materials, documents that existed all along but were never used through lack of interest. Students in succeeding generations ask questions that earlier students never thought of; they use freshly available materials, and as a result they see the past more dearly. This collection of essays is a good example of how historical revision benefits our general understanding of things. Here we have before us the latest and most incisive analyses of women's roles in European and American Christianity during the past five centuries.

The traditional notion about women in religion has been that they were silent and subjugated, acquiescent in passive roles while males took command of this important area of human affairs. This interpretation stemmed from a viewpoint that valued pulpit activity to the exclusion of virtually everything else.

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