Issue: August/September 2020: Women’s Leadership in the Church, State, and Academy

Volume 20 Number 5

Editor’s Introduction: Women’s Ordination August/September 2020

[1] August 18, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of women’s right to vote in the United States. November 20, 2020 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the first woman’s ordination in a Lutheran church in the United States.  Despite Lutheran views about two kingdoms and American views about the separation of church and […]

“We are Determined:” Suffrage, Ordination, and Coeducation

0     “I desire that you would remember the Ladies.” Abigail Adams’ suggestion to John Adams, as they contemplated the Declaration of Independence.[1]   [1] Although Americans revere the “founding fathers,” we pay far less attention to the women, of any race, who contributed to the American Revolution and the development of the United […]

The Original Order of Things

[1] The relationship between the political enfranchisement of women and their position in the Lutheran church illustrates the very slow pace of change when entrenched ideas are threatened by newer ones. So much so is this the case that the words of women who sought such power are largely drowned out by the words of men […]

Embodiment of Power, Self and Identity: Weaving My Story of Ordination in History

[1] What a joy it was to see women marching, (no, dancing down the aisle, it was!) during the celebration of 50-40-10 of Women’s Ordination in the ELCA. The joy was simply contagious. Even watching the women process down the aisle, from remote, I could not help but shed tears of joy at this visible […]

Women Preachers: An Apocalyptic Image of the Kingdom of God

[1] Perhaps it is easy to imagine that providing a theological and scriptural rationale for women in ministry is no longer necessary.  Perhaps it is easy to imagine that in 2020, fifty years after the Rev. Elizabeth Platz was ordained, the first female pastor in a Lutheran body in the United States and one year […]


Two Short Reflections on Women’s Leadership as Teaching Theologians

Thank God for the Academic Vocation [1] Thank God for the academic vocation. Without it, I have no idea when I would eventually meet, know, and eventually become a female leader in the Lutheran church. Insofar as colleges and universities continue to exist as expressions of the church in the world, female faculty have a […]

What Makes for a Theological Vocation in the ELCA?

[1] As a theologian who teaches religious studies at a public university, I hesitated to contribute to a question about the role of women’s leadership in the Lutheran academy in the U.S. I comfortably identify as a Lutheran theologian who works alongside two wonderful religious studies colleagues, both women, one specializing in Asian religions and […]

Review: The Hebrew Bible: Feminist and Intersectional Perspectives, edited by Gale A. Yee

[1] The Hebrew Bible: Feminist and Intersectional Perspectives offers a feminist introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. The book consists of an introduction (written by editor Gale A. Yee) followed by four chapters, each addressing a different section of the biblical text and written by a different contributor or contributors. Thus Carolyn J. Sharp covers the Torah/Pentateuch, […]

Review: Passionate for Justice: Ida B. Wells as Prophet for Our Time, by Catherine Meeks and Nib Stroupe

[1] I would love to start my review by talking about the importance of Passionate for Justice at “a time like this,” but that qualification immediately rings hollow for me. [2] Threat of danger is the traumatic, collective history and memory (and, too often, direct experience) that Black [1] and Brown people just know. To wit, Passionate for Justice co-author […]

Holy Mischief: In Honor and Celebration of Women in Ministry, by Mindy Makant

[1] Holy Mischief is a timely book that witnesses to the painful and difficult reality of women’s oppression and discrimination in the church.  Her book talks specifically about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but the situation there is not unique. Many people seem to think that because women have been ordained in this Church for 50 […]