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When Women Become Priests: The Catholic Women's Ordination Debate [Paperback]

By Kelley Raab (Author)
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Item description for When Women Become Priests: The Catholic Women's Ordination Debate by Kelley Raab...

While numerous provocative works have sought to justify why women should be ordained as Catholic priests, "When Women Become Priests" is the first sustained reflection on the differences that would obtain with women at the altar. In the face of a centuries-old tradition of a male priesthood, what are the implications for the Catholic church of ordaining women? Would women priests become co-opted into the male clerical caste, particularly in relation to celebrating the sacraments? In an analysis that deftly unites feminist criticism, psychoanalysis, and Catholic theology, Kelley A. Raab explores the symbolic implications of women at the altar, providing rich insight into issues of gender, symbolism, and power.

"When Women Become Priests" addresses critical issues about the effect of a female priest on the parishioners she would serve, on the sacrament of communion, and on the significance of the symbolism of Jesus that priest maintain during certain ceremonies. Rooted in her firm belief in the place of women within the Catholic priesthood, Raab's work is one that -- rather than reducing religious convictions to psychological construct -- seeks to re-invigorate these convictions for the contemporary world.

Supported by interviews with women in the Episcopal priesthood (which has ordained women since 1977), Raab draws upon object-relations theory, Freudian concepts of the unconscious, and French feminist thinkers Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray to show how the celebration of mass by women priests would require a constructive reenvisioning of core dimensions of Catholic theology.

Citations And Professional Reviews
When Women Become Priests: The Catholic Women's Ordination Debate by Kelley Raab has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Choice - 06/01/2001 page 1810

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Columbia University Press
Pages   313
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.96" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.69"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 25, 2000
Publisher   Columbia University Press
Age  22
Edition  New  
ISBN  0231113358  
ISBN13  9780231113359  

Availability  0 units.

More About Kelley Raab

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kelley A. Raab is assistant professor of Religious Studies at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Popular Culture
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Leadership
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Church History
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Administration

Reviews - What do customers think about When Women Become Priests?

Outstanding contribution to the national Catholic dialogue.  Sep 8, 2000
This survey of the Catholic women's ordination debate provides the first sustained reflection on the differences which would happen were women at the altar. Analysis includes consideration of the implications for the Catholic church, relationships between female and male priests, and underlying politics. A thought-provoking consideration for any Catholic studies program.
Women Priests?  Sep 6, 2000
A fascinating and provocative look at the controversial issue of ordaining woman as Catholic priests. Dr. Raab is a professor of Religious Studies who draws on psychology and feminist theory to study what difference it would make to have women in the role of priest. Her academic study is made lively through her use of extensive interviews with current male and female Episcopcal priests and laypeople. I highly recommend this book for university- and seminary-types interested in the fields of psychology and religion; women and religion; or ordination and for those in the educated public wanting to participate in what might well be the Catholic Church's greatest debate of the 21st century.

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