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"Women's Speaking Justified"
a scripture-based argument for women's ministry

Margaret Fell later Margaret Fox (1614 - 1702) was a founder member of the Religious Society of Friends. She was known popularly as the "mother of Quakerism".

In 1664 she was arrested for failing to take an oath and for allowing Quaker Meetings to be held in her home. She defended herself by saying that "as long as the Lord blessed her with a home, she would worship him in it". She remained in prison until 1668, during which time she wrote religious pamphlets and epistles. Perhaps her most famous work was "Women's Speaking Justified", a scripture-based argument for women's ministry, and one of the major texts on women's religious leadership in the 17th century.

In this work she set out to counter the traditional view of the woman's role in the temptation story in Genesis, and the teachings of St Paul on the role of women within the church, including his exhortations against women as teachers of the faith. Margaret Fell's religious "manifesto" also acted as a persuasive challenge to the prevailing church doctrines asserting the prohibition on women as orators and ministers, and exemplified the increasing role women were taking in religious debates, ministries, and in the growth of new religious movements across England.



Wijngaards Institute for Catholic ResearchThis website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.

The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.

Visit also our websites:Women Deacons, The Body is Sacred and Mystery and Beyond.

You are welcome to use our material. However: maintaining this site costs money. We are a Charity and work mainly with volunteers, but we find it difficult to pay our overheads.


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