Lest the rocks cry out: equipping women to move from silence to authoritative speech

Type
Thesis
Category
Online DMin Project  [ Browse Items ]
Edition
English 
Publication Year
2018 
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Abstract
Given the importance of verbal communication throughout the Bible, it is striking to realize that in modern America women are still routinely prohibited from speaking in the corporate worship gatherings of the Churches of Christ. Based on a literal interpretation of a few scriptures, most Churches of Christ continue to severely limit the participation of women. However, there is a movement within the ecumenical branch of the Churches of Christ to change patriarchal traditions, opening the door to the full and equal participation of women in the church and in the life of faith. While many people are working to bring moral, intellectual and spiritual conversion in this area, change happens slowly. Church leaders discuss women for years on end while women are kept waiting. The line of restriction may be pushed back but it is not erased and women are expected to be patient and thankful for any small improvements.
In this project I assess the spiritual needs of women in changing churches. The first area of focus explores the process that women go through when coming out of a patriarchal church culture into a feminist awareness. The second area of focus is a biblical theology of language, demonstrating the necessity of the human voice and language in all of Christian life. The third area focuses specifically on women of color who are gifted for ministry within the Churches of Christ, in an effort to better support women who are facing interlocking systems of oppression. The paper includes a description of the ministry project and an analysis of ministry competencies. It concludes with strategies for change and a theological reflection about living faithfully in the midst of transition. 
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