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date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Women have been vastly under-represented within the church’s ministries. Feminist ecclesiologies invariably begin from this situation of invisibility and discrimination, whilst arguing for the historic and contemporary legitimacy of women’s full participation alongside men. Feminist critiques and reconstructions have drawn on biblical and historical evidence in order to refute patterns of hierarchy and exclusion in favour of more egalitarian traditions of the church as a community of equals. The various strands of the ‘Women-Church’ movement have also been central to a practical feminist ecclesiology, in which women have sought new ways to name their everyday experience as sacred and to exercise new patterns of ministry and leadership. Institutionally-led initiatives, such as the World Council of Churches’ programme on The Community of Women and Men in the Church, have met with mixed success, although worship has been one of the most creative well-springs of feminist activity and renewal.

Keywords: Community of Women and Men in the Church, feminism, feminist ecclesiology, liturgy, Women-Church

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