Reviews - What do customers think about Women in the Priesthood: A Systematic Analysis in the Light of the Order of Creation and Redemption?
A rich journey of discovery Feb 5, 2008
I found this scholarly and enlightening book particularly effective in the thoughtful consideration of our human history and cultures and their common treatment of the principles of immanence and transcendence. It is these which are the orientations of our spiritual modalities of the masculine and the feminine. Every cell in our bodies is masculine or feminine.
Given the spousal and deeply personal relationship that is the church, which is not an impersonal theorem and which does not decry sexual complementariness the church which is feminine responds to her bridegroom perfect in the unique and not at all arbitrary identity of Christ.
Though not at all shying away from human fallibility and chauvinism it becomes crystal clear that this is not even remotely about sexism or patriarchal power trips. Respecting actual and fundamental differences and uniqueness is not sexism.
But the common accusation of 'sexism'here, is as is consistent with the Marxist existentialist influence of Simone de Beauvoir wherein men and women are in conflict like labor and capital, reveals the root of the complaint to be, ironically, itself sexist and thereby limited in scope to ideology. Much misery there. Manfred Haucke raises us up to a more peaceful plane, a richer stream stripped of disharmony.
This book is highly enlightening and affirming of what indeed should be affirmed in a universe that is itself sexual and complimentary. The thoughtful reader will benefit immensely from a reading of this scholarly work. You'll be very glad you acquired it.
Detailed and Magisterial Aug 29, 2003
German Catholic theologian Manfred Hauke has written a highly detailed look at the issues raised by those who seek the ordination of women in the Catholic Church. He concludes that such ordination is contrary to Scripture and Tradition. This book was written before the Pope's declaration in 1994 that the Church had no authority to ordain women. Hauke's work provides scholarly support for that papal declaration. The first half of the book gives extensive background on the philosophical and theological dimensions in different world religions of the masculine and the feminine. Only after setting forth this detailed background does Hauke give his detailed discussion of the Catholic view. In my opinion, his most significant insight concerns his exegesis of St. Paul's ban against women speaking in church in 1 Corinthians 14. Hauke concludes that this ban is aimed not at speaking in general during the liturgy, but at engaging in official public instruction during the liturgy. Hauke points out that Paul characterizes this ban as an authoritative "command of the Lord." Hauke reasonably infers that this ban on women engaging in formal instruction in the divine liturgy necessarily points to the non-ordination of women given that this type of public liturgical instruction is precisely a major function of the ordained.
Even more persuasive, in my view, is Hauke's analysis of those medieval theologians who focused on the Incarnation of Christ as a male as an underpinning for the ban on women's ordination. Hauke shows that the Tradition against women priests is, ultimately, not based on assumptions of inferiority or on some sort of patriarchal oppression, but rather is based on a deeply rooted and scriptural theology of complementarity which views the feminine as fundamentally receptive and the male as fundamentally transcendent. In my opinion, no supporter of women's ordination who fails to address and respond to Hauke's detailed scholarly study can be taken seriously.
Essential reading Jul 10, 2003
I strongly disagree with the review that found this book to be a piece of pseudo-scholarship. I do not believe all of Hauke's arguments, but to dump on the book as if its only worth is found in its being an example of false theology and reasoning is going too far. It is, rather, a highly developed apologia for a male only priesthood.
Concerning his point about deaconesses. It is certainly true, as Huake readily admits, that deaconesses have provided a liturgical function in relation to other women at times of baptism and anointing, or the visiting of sick women with the Eucharist during a time in history when it would have been looked down upon had a man gone into the house of a woman without others present; not that this is part of a further argument that since such social taboos are not as strong these day that it means the female deaconate has no relevance or role. Concerning the point about subordination, Hauke is not playing with words in the least. He is merely extending, or applying, the traditional way of understanding the Trinity to the relation between the sexes. I would recommend Giles' "The Trinity and Subordinationalism" for anyone interested in this subject in particular. Christ is equal to the Father, but still subordinate. In the same way, the deacon is equal to the priest, but in the function of the liturgical setting, he or she is subordinate. It is a question of taxis, order, not worth. How many Christians would believe that Christ thinks to Himself, "I am so sick of being subordinate to the Father" while the Holy Spirit is just moping in the corner about being the forgotten Person of the Trinity? If you deny the distinction between subordination and worth, then that would be the ultimate conlusion.
A final point: There is no doubt that women and men together form the divine image as a communion of love, which God is. However, the liturgical function of presiding over the consecration of the Eucharist is of a different order. This is actually unrelated to the New Testament passages and the exegesis that is so sharply criticized. This is not what Paul or Luke we talking about. They are not talking about priests in this sense. Moreover, nowhere in the tradition (except in some heretical circles whose other theology was very screwed up) do we ever find a woman act as priest during the Eucharist. Never. While Hauke may go too far in some of his analyses, the common tradition would support what I have said.
This does NOT mean that the Church should never ordain women to the priesthood (which Hauke is totally against). After all, the role of deacon itself is in many respects an afterthought for logistical reasons. But let's be honest about history. The role of deacon quickly changed from waiting on tables to a highly developed liturgical function. Women were never priests and never consecrated the bread and wine. Never. Perhaps it is a matter of clarifying terms such as priest and deacon. Other books of interest include Hauke's "God or Goddess?", Louis Bouyer's "Women in the Church", "Deaconesses", by Martimort, Women and the Priesthood" Kreeft and Hildebrand, "The Female Diaconate: An Historical Perspective" by Ellen Gvosdev, Karl Stern's "The Flight from Woman", "The Church and Woman" ed. Moll. An Eastern Orthodox view can be found in the anthology "Women and the Priesthood", ed. Hopko. An excellent analysis of God, gender, and language is found in "Speaking the Christian God", ed.Alvin Kimmel, jr.
Stupidity in guise of Scholarship Nov 14, 2002
Hauke starts in the Preface with his biggest false premise saying that the issue of women deacons is irrelvant to his discussion. Since he writing for Catholics, the problem is that Canons 1008 and 1009 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law and the Decrees on the Sacraments at the Council of Trent inextricably tie deaconate and priesthood together as one sacrament (a person is ordained only once).
He then goes on from there with over 400 pages of nonsense that is constantly contradictory, and continually confuses panentheism and pantheism - even explicitly saying they are the same - which is nonsense. Karl Rahner or Paul Tillich are not pantheists, but they were panentheistic.
Hauke repeats over and over that the subordinate role of women does not imply inferiority. Maybe I just don't get what he means by "subordinate", but it seems to me there is a necessary connection between them.
His reasoning on the "xx" and "xy" chromosonal difference between men (man includes woman but woman doesn't include man) is just bizzare theology.
He somehow completely misses the boat on the feminist argument that sexism is a result of the Fall - rather than the original order of creation. Rather than engaging this argument, he just asserts it is incorrect.
He admits of female images of God in the Bible, and somehow denies there significance by saying they were subsumed in male transcendence. Good thing the Catechism came out later and said we can call God our Mother. I just sit there going "What?"
He inadequately treats the fact that Junia is called an apostle. He almost ignores Phoebe (since deaconesses don't really matter to him). He is completely silent on the use of "presbyteress" in the original Greek of 1 Tim 5:1-2. This latter is significant since the Church sees v. 17 of the same chapter as refering to presbyters (same word, same chapter - same context). Most signicantly, he ignores the role of women speaking as prophetesses in 1 Cor 11:5, and builds the longest and most overstated case I ever seen that 1 Cor 14:34-35 come directly from Christ. C'mon.
What is subtle is so much nonsense gets you caught up wondering if he is right about these two verses until you realize he's just repeating himself over and over. Then he concludes the section on 1 Cor 14:34-35 with a brief comment that he can't prove he's right because there are some legitimate problems with his work - noteably the aforementioned fact of prophetesses speaking in church!
Then when he finally does devote a few pages around page 440 to women, he admits that deaconesses did everything male deacons do today - but somehow - since they only ministered to women in limited settings, they were not considered ordained. Baloney. I actually use Hauke as a reference to show the conservatives they are full of it when they say the deaconesses spoken of in Canon 15 of the Council of Chalcedon were truly ordained! And that's about the only useful thing in this horrendous piece of pseudo-scholarship.
The one part he surprisingly treats well is a summary of feminist immanence theology and it's implications to orthodox theology. However, rather than helping us see how the two theologies can form a synthesis with no loss of Sacred Tradition, he just asserts that the transcendent always includes the immanent. Is this really the sense of the faithful when considering the transcendent nature of God?
A lot of words with no intellectual rigor. I recommend this book if you care about the issue, and DISAGREE with Pope John Paul II and Hauke. In that situation, buy this book. He actually provides some good amunition to the progressive side of this debate. To the conservatives - it's your dime, I don't care what you do with it. Juts don't think this book is going to change any minds or hearts.
essential reading Jun 18, 2000
This is a very detailed account of the ordination debate which is balanced, informed by all the current facts, and rooted in historical Christianity. Hauke's masterpiece is so extensive and detailed that it is actullay several books in one. Given the size and material of the book, $25.00 is a steal! While this book is NOT in favor of women's ordination, it is not a polemical tirade nor the all too often congratulatory backslapping and question-begging which accompanies too much of the literature on both sides. Rather, Hauke's book is balanced, fair, and very very well researced. I was going to attempt to write out the table of contents, but it would take too long. I decided to just give the headings. Part One I.The Question of the emancipation of women as a background to the theological debate. II.The controversy about ordination of women in the non-Catholic sphere III.The problem of women in the priesthood as a consequence of the "conciliar upheaval" IV.Characteristics of feminist theology V.The Creation-Theological approach to a resolution of the problem VI.Anthropological Foundations VII.Sexuality and the Image of God:Inquiries based on the study of religion VIII.The relevance of material from anthropology and religious studies to the discussion of the order of redemption IX.The relation between Woman and Man in the biblical account of primal history Part Two:The question of Women in the priesthood against the backgroundof the order of redemption
I.Preparatory aspects of the Old Testament II."Sexual" traits in the Christian image of God III.Mary: Archetype and Mother of the Church IV.The behavior of Christ V.Testimony of Saint Paul VI.The period of the Church Fathers VII.The Middle Ages VIII.A historically conditioned undervaluation of women as the reason for their exclusion from the Priesthood? IX.The result of this work and the degree of theological certainty Conclusion Notes Index
Other books of interest include Hauke's "God or Goddess?", Louis Bouyer's "Women in the Church", "Deaconesses", by Martimort, Women and the Priesthood" Kreeft and Hildebrand, "The Female Diaconate: An Historical Perspective" by Ellen Gvosdev, Karl Stern's "The Flight from Woman", "The Church and Woman" ed. Moll. An Eastern Orthodox view can be found in the anthology "Women and the Priesthood", ed. Hopko. An excellent analysis of God, gender, and language is found in "Speaking the Christian God", ed.Alvin Kimmel, jr.