Hidden History of Women's Ordination
The Roman Catholic leadership still refuses to ordain women officially or even to recognize that women are capable of ordination. But is the widely held assumption that women have always been excluded from such roles historically accurate? How might the current debate change if our view of the history of women's ordination were to change? In The Hidden History of Women's Ordination, Gary Macy argues that for the first twelve hundred years of Christianity, women were in fact ordained into various roles in the church. He uncovers references to the ordination of women in papal, episcopal and theological documents of the time, and the rites for these ordinations have survived. The insistence among scholars that women were not ordained, Macy shows, is based on a later definition of ordination, one that would have been unknown in the early Middle Ages.
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