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The Hidden History of Women's OrdinationFemale Clergy in the Medieval West$
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Gary Macy

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195189704

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189704.001.0001

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 The State of the Question

 The State of the Question

(p.3) 1 The State of the Question
The Hidden History of Women's Ordination

Gary Macy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provided a thorough review of the literature that discusses the history of the ordination of women in order to determine the definition of ordination that scholars assume in these studies. With the notable exceptions of Hans Jorrissen, Peter Hünermann, Yves Congar, and Marie‐Joséphe Aubert, the scholars surveyed assume that the definition of ordination operative in the present was that operative in the past. Jorrissen, Hünermans, Congar, Aubert, and the scholars dependent on them, note that definition of ordination changed dramatically in the 12th and 13th centuries, and the later definition introduced in these centuries cannot be applied retroactively. Which definition of ordination should be applied in determining whether women had ever been ordained is judged to be an issue for theology, but not for history.

Keywords:   Christianity, definition, history, ordination, theology, woman

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