Modern Believing

Reverend Mother - How Insights from Mothering can Inform the Practice of Leadership in the Church (Part II)

Modern Believing (2003), 44, (3), 24–36.

Abstract

The experience of motherhood is central to the life of many women. Feminism has quite rightly noted how it has been used to oppress and limit women's opportunities and also to note that not all women are mothers. This has perhaps meant that little attention has been paid to the particular insights that mothering can offer and women have not been encouraged to reflect and value these for themselves or for others. Theology has been guilty of ignoring motherhood except as an idealised state and its insights have rarely been allowed to form theological thinking. Many Churches have now accepted women into leadership positions, yet it can still be difficult for the experiences and insights of these women to be taken seriously. Using the writings of a number of theologians who are mothers, as well as my own experience, I firstly look at some of the insights mothering has to offer our theological thinking. I then try to show how these insights have particular things to say to those of us who are involved in Christian leadership as priests or other ministers.

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Author details

Percy, Emma