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Ordaining Women: Culture and Conflict in Religious Organizations [Paperback]

By Mark Chaves (Author)
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Item description for Ordaining Women: Culture and Conflict in Religious Organizations by Mark Chaves...

Why does a denomination prohibiting women clergy support parishes run by women? Why does a denomination opt to ordain women when there are few women seeking to join that clergy? And why have some denominations ordained women so much earlier than others? In a revealing examination of the complex relationship among religion, social forces, and organizational structure, "Ordaining Women" draws examples and data from over 100 Christian denominations to explore the meaning of institutional rules about women's ordination.

Combining historical and sociological perspectives, Mark Chaves deftly shows that formal institutional rules about ordination often diverge from the actual roles of women and are best understood as symbolic gestures in favor of--or in opposition to--gender equality. "Ordaining Women" concludes that external pressures from the women's movement and ecumenical pressure expressed through interdenominational organizations such as the National Council of Churches influence ordination practices. At the same time, internal factors such as having a source of religious authority that is considered superior to modern principles of equal rights also explain why some denominations ordain women much earlier than others.

Surprisingly, "the Bible forbids it" does not account for policies even among fundamentalists and other biblical inerrantists. Chaves' historical and comparative approach offers a revealing analysis of how the internal denominational debates have changed over time, becoming more frequent, more politicized, and more contentious. The skillful delineation of forces affecting debates and policies about women's ordination makes this book an important contribution to our understanding of religious organizations and of gender equality.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Ordaining Women: Culture and Conflict in Religious Organizations by Mark Chaves has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 113
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 86

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Harvard University Press
Pages   237
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.17" Width: 5.45" Height: 0.66"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 15, 1999
Publisher   Harvard University Press
ISBN  0674641469  
ISBN13  9780674641464  

Availability  108 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2017 10:51.
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More About Mark Chaves

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mark Chaves is professor of sociology, religion, and divinity at Duke University. He is the author of "Congregations in America" and "Ordaining Women: Culture and Conflict in Religious Organizations."

Mark Chaves has an academic affiliation as follows - Duke University.

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Product Categories

2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Womens Studies > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Leadership
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Feminist
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Religion
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Women
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality

Reviews - What do customers think about Ordaining Women: Culture and Conflict in Religious Organizations?

A different angle of vision  Dec 13, 2000
Mark Chaves book looks at the ordination of women from a different angle than other books on this topic that I have read in my 20 years as an ordained woman in a mainline denomination. He helps to clarify the confusion that some ordained women have felt after spending years in school training for ministry and then finding that congregations are hesitant to call us as pastors or downright against the idea. Chaves shows how much of the impetus for ordaining women came from outside of the church itself and originated in the surrounding culture that was moving, however slowly at times, toward equity for women. The book is well thought through and ably presented. I highly recommend it to any persons interested in the current state of leadership in the church in North America.

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