I recently took on the daunting task of boiling down everything the non-historian needs to know about early Christian women’s authority into 1,000 pithy-yet-common-sensical words. (Whose Hand Rocked the Cradle of Christianity?, The Times Faith Page, 20 October, 2012)
My aspiration was to inspire reflection and perhaps some heady arguments in the run-up to the vote on female bishops at November’s General Synod of the Church of England. So much of the current discussion seems to assume that the historical Jesus was on the Human Resources staff of a well-established earthly institution.
The exciting thing, to this ivory-tower dweller: possibly thanks to the catchy title–which, of course, I had nothing to do with–the appearance of this mini-opus was posted as one of the ‘Top Weekend News Stories’ on the Church of England’s own Daily Media Briefing yesterday. I would appreciate it if we could down-play the fact that it appeared in the third from last place in a very long list. That is not the point! The point, surely, is that Thinking People in the Church of England are interested in putting serious matters into historical context. Let’s hope so, anyway.