Women and the Church: From Devil’s Gateway to Discipleship

Paulist. Jan. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780809154708. pap. $34.95. REL
Feminist theologian Imperatori-Lee (religious studies, Manhattan Coll.; Cuéntame: Narrative in the Ecclesial Present) explores the history of Christian feminism in response to the sexism and patriarchy dominating the Catholic Church. She also analyzes the ways in which women are portrayed in scripture and hermeneutical studies. This title, structured much like a college textbook, discusses the role of women in creating, sustaining, and continuing to develop the Church, along with its teachings and presence in the world. It’s a role that has largely been hidden, whether deliberately or by omission. Imperatori-Lee focuses on how the Church has marginalized women, despite all their contributions. She doesn’t only discuss the problem; she presents sound and creative ways to affect positive change too. She backs up her premises and arguments with citations from the work of major theologians throughout history, including contemporary feminist thinkers. Each chapter ends with discussion questions and suggestions for further reading.
VERDICT This recommended scholarly volume offers a fresh, feminist view of the Catholic Church’s history and teachings.
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