An Essay Explaining How Women are Reshaping Religion *
[Katherine Rieth, Fall 2015]
This essay argues how women are reshaping religion through the rise of feminist movements. Since the beginning of religions such as Christianity and Judaism, men have always held the highest positions as rabbis or priests. Women have participated faithfully in lower positions for hundreds of years, allowing the church or synagogue to thrive. With gender equality being a popular movement in today’s society, religions are beginning to reshape. Women have been ordained as priests and rabbis, which is something that had never been considered even within the past century. Men have always held the highest positions as priests or rabbis because that was how the scripture was interpreted. For example, Jesus was a male and spiritually guided twelve men, while the women were simply considered followers. Looking further back into history, the story of Adam and Eve also can lead to an interpretation that men are superior to women. An example of this is how in Jewish scripture, Eve was created by God from one of Adam’s rib bones. Even though the scripture states that in God’s eyes, men and women are equal, men have always been considered of higher authority. Feminist movements have encouraged women to fight for their rights and to exceed the boundaries of what society considers as the “norm”. Many branches of Judaism and Christianity have ordained rabbis and priests, which have then raised controversy over the topic. This essay argues the pros and cons of women religious leaders, and the impacts that ordained women have already brought upon society.