The history of Christianity shows great ambivalence towards women. On the one hand, women have been included, graced, called, inspired and canonised by Christianity throughout the centuries. On the other hand, women have not always felt appreciated within the Christian tradition and indeed have often been excluded and oppressed by church leaders. The author offers a comprehensive listing of women in the Western Christian tradition. She attempts to situate the women in their time and context, thus creating a continuous narrative, rather than a series of vignettes. Where possible the women’s own writings and voices are used as the main sources. The author’s aim is to raise consciousness of both the persistent courage and innovative quality of women’s lives. The perspective is a feminist one, entailing a critical analysis of previous conventional histories. The primary importance of women to the creation of western culture is emphasised at all times. Women, Christian or otherwise, who seek an understanding of their past and present will find the book helpful.
Mary T. Malone is a former Professor of Theology at Toronto School of Theology; and was previously Professor of Religious Studies at St Jerome’s University and the University of Waterloo. She is the author of several books, including: Woman Christian: A New Vision, Who is My Mother? Rediscovering the Mother of Jesus and Step by Step: A Handbook for RCIA.