Gender, Power and the Pulpit
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Should women who preach, preach as women?
Preaching Women argues that far from being a gender-neutral space, the pulpit is a critical place in which a gender imbalance can begin to be redressed. There is a vital need for women preachers to speak out of their experience of living as women in today's culture and church.
Filling a glaring gap in the literature around homiletics, Preaching Women considers reasons why women preachers should preach from their experiences as women, what women bring to preaching that is missing without us, and how women preachers can go about the task of biblical preaching.
With a foreword by Libby Lane.
Liz Shercliff shares her reasoning behind tackling the topic of preaching as a woman on UCB radio.
Foreword by Libby Lane vii
1. What is Preaching? 1
2. Finding My Voice 16
3. Silencing Women: A Silencing Culture 41
4. Hearing Women’s Faith 76
5. Hearing Bible Women 106
6. Sermons for Women 129
7. Preaching as a Woman 152
8. Preaching Women 166
Index of Names and Subjects 175
'Not least among Liz Shercliff’s achievements in this fine book on preaching is to be reminded that ‘vocation’ and ‘voice’ are rooted in living bodies responding to God’s call. What I found especially impressive is Shercliff's patient, determined and gritty interrogation of the patriarchal effects which work to limit women’s voices in the pulpit and her determination to re-envision the preacher’s work in response. This, then, is not a comfortable book. However, it is a necessary one. It acknowledges the cost and character required for women to find, in their bodies and stories, the hope, fierceness and passion to sing God’s wondrous story in fresh ways.' -- Rachel Mann, Priest, poet and academic
'Fast-paced, forthright and spirited, this book is a page-turner! Liz Shercliff draws on her own considerable experience of preaching and wide-ranging research and reading in biblical hermeneutics, feminist theology, spirituality and faith development to protest women’s invisibility in much Christian preaching and to show what it can mean to bring women’s bodies, stories and lives into conversation with Christian faith. Novice and experienced preachers alike will find much here to stimulate and challenge their preaching.' -- Nicola Slee, Director of Research, Queen's Foundation, Birmingham
'Liz Shercliff has written the book we have all been waiting for-. It is not an extended argument for women preachers: the case has been well made for that, and Liz embodies this reality. Her book is instead a vital resource for women who are preachers, or preachers in the making. As such it is unique, insightful, encouraging and enormously valuable for ministry. When the tradition for preaching has been set through the centuries by men, women whom God has called into preaching need to reflect on how to find their own voice, and develop their own gifts. They need to discover how to be authentic in the power of the Holy Spirit, winsome in their story-telling, and prayerful in discernment so that people can find God in their sermons. Written with wonderful doses of personal experience, Liz’s book breaks new ground in opening up the power of biblical preaching, and speaks very directly to her readers. I believe it will be an essential part of future training, and commend it hugely.' -- Elaine Storkey, Theologian and broadcaster
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