Looking Forward, Looking Backward

Forty Years of Women’s Ordination

Fredrica Harris Thompsett

May/2014, 176 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819229229



A wide-ranging exploration of the past, present, and future effects of women’s ordination on the church.

This book gauges the impact and implications of women’s ordination on today and tomorrow. What has women’s ordination meant for the church? For preaching? For pastoral care? For the episcopate? For lay women and for women across the Anglican Communion? The editor draws upon a rich variety of writers and thinkers for this book.

Fredrica Harris Thompsett is the retired Mary Wolfe professor of historical theology at the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, where she has also served as academic dean for fourteen years. She is the author or editor of several books including Looking Forward, Looking Backward: Forty Years of Women’s Ordination and the highly regarded We Are Theologians.

"Those of us who have lived through all or part of the last 40 years in the Episcopal Church will be amazed by what we didn’t know or considered before reading this important book. It’s all here: history, sociological study, theological reflection, and personal memoir. As we consider where God needs us as a Church now and in the future, these essays both warn and inspire. May we be as faithful and courageous in this age as those whose prayers, tears, and tireless efforts we have to thank for where we are now." —The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, IX Bishop of the Diocese of Washington

"It is good to remember and celebrate our inheritance of courage and power exercised by those who have gone before. This gathering of essays reflects on the church's story of struggle for gender equity among the whole ministry of the baptized—yesterday, today, and tomorrow. May the reader be inspired to take their place in this unfurling work of justice!" —The Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves, Diocese of El Camino Real

"Looking Forward, Looking Backward is Fredrica Harris Thompsett’s gift to us, a book that gathers up the history of women’s ordination in the Episcopal Church in readable, thoughtful stories. Now, specific stories and, thus, detailed history won’t be lost." —Nora Gallagher, author of Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic and Things Seen and Unseen

"An engaging and valuable read. I am particularly touched by Dr. Frederica Harris Thompsett's desire to honor the many participants in the irregular ordinations of the 1970s, and her use of the fortieth anniversary of the Philadelphia ordinations as the spur to bringing this book to publication. Thank you, Frederica." —The Rev. Dr. Alison M. Cheek

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