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Women as Bishops
Rigney, James
Mowbray, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-5670-3224-9


This book sets out the theological case for ordination of women bishops in the Church of England. In ‘Women as Bishops’ a range of contributors argue that it is not only possible but desirable that women be ordained bishops in the Church, and that the Church of England has the competence to do so and should proceed now.

Contributors to the book include Oxford theologians Dr Mark Chapman, Dr Charlotte Methuen and Dr Jane Shaw and also theologians from the Old Catholic and Methodist Churches as well as leading Roman Catholic proponent for women’s ordination, Dr John Wijngaards. Separate chapters deal specifically with the criticisms raised by the Roman Catholic bishops of England and Wales and conservative anglo-catholics. So far the debate has lacked a clear, positive voice from a Catholic perspective in favour of women bishops. We hope that this book redresses that balance. The publication comes at a crucial time after the General Synod of the Church of England has decided to proceed towards the consecration of women bishops.

Table of Contents

Introduction, James Rigney
The Calling of Women as Bishops, Jane Shaw
The Concept of Validity, Barry Norris
‘To Visit, Repress, Reform, Correct, Restrain and Amend’: Historical Reflections on the Competence of the Church of England, Charlotte Methuen
Women Bishops? Views in the Roman Catholic Church, Official and Otherwise, John Wijngaards
Methodism and Women Bishops, David Carter
Episcopal-synodical Church Structure: Some Reflections on Issues of Synodality and Authority from an Old Catholic Perspective, Angela Berlis
Women with Oversight: Evidence from the Early Church, Charlotte Methuen
Anglo-Catholics and the Myths of Episcopacy, Mark D. Chapman
Women Bishops: A Response to Cardinal Kasper, Tom Wright and David Stancliffe
Epilogue, Mark D. Chapman

Documents from Affirming Catholicism on Women Bishops

Document 1: Letter from Richard Jenkins, Director of Affirming Catholicism to Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford (3 November 2005)
Document 2: Developing the Proposals in the Guildford Report (2 April 2006)
Document 3: Submission to the Women Bishops Legislative Drafting Group by the Standing Committee of Affirming Catholicism (30 March 2007)
Document 4: Letter from the Revd Jonathan Clark to Nigel McCulloch, Bishop of Manchester with Clarifications to Submission (7 September 2007)