The End of Silence: Women and Priesthood by Karen Armstrong
This book traces the idea of women in the ministry from the time of Christ to the present day. The book looks at why the notion of the ordination of women seems so threatening, especially as there is no valid theological objection. The author has interviewed early pioneers of the movement for the ordination of women, including Deaconess Diane McClatchy and Dame Christine Howard. There are instructive lessons to be learned in Judaism and Islam so Armstrong has also interviewed Rabbi Julia Neuberger, Rana Kabbani and Leila Ahmad. The movement for the ordination of women has allowed the author to examine its files. The book is a mix of the historical (from Aristotle's idea of women as failed men) and the anecdotal. Are the opponents of women's ordination using women as the last bastion of Christian identity in an increasingly secular world? The author was for seven years a Roman Catholic nun and is the author of several books including "Tongues of Fire", "Holy War", "Muhammad" and "A History of God".