WOMEN IN THE PULPIT: Is God an Equal Opportunity Employer? by Priscilla & William Proctor

WOMEN IN THE PULPIT: Is God an Equal Opportunity Employer?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Based on interviews with a wide range of women ministers and a few husband-and-wife teams, this book splices together various forgettable conversations about the future of women in the ministry. Though the tone is enlightened and upbeat, the book's style and findings will rouse few cheers in feminist ranks. The authors introduce participants as a ""statuesque redhead,"" a ""lanky, honey-blond,"" etc. (admittedly, the few men suffer an equal fate), and they never get beyond the level of an earnest church social. Despite a determination to attain full status in their calling--the answer to the subtitle might be ""No, but She's working out an affirmative action program""--these women cover the spectrum from radical feminism to ""Total Woman"" fundamentalism. The consensus is that women are better at pastoral work, such as counseling, while men are usually more powerful presences in the pulpit. Less amenable to traditional categorization are the radicals like Carter Heyward and her sisters in the struggle for female priesthood. They are the most arresting figures in the book and the ones who directly confront the real issues of ecclesiastical sexism. Unfortunately the Proctors usually bypass ""theological and social issues"" to focus on communicating the ""thoughts, beliefs, feelings"" of a sampling of female ministers. The result is just progressive church-talk.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 1976
Publisher: Doubleday