Author and theologian Niamh Middleton publishes “Jesus and Women: Beyond Feminism”
Ex-teacher sheds light on #metoo movement and the life and death of Princess Diana to demonstrate Jesus’ perspective on women and why they must reclaim Christianity
“As the global #MeToo movement has clearly demonstrated, women are no longer ready to accept being treated as the ‘second sex’, both inside and outside the Church. Jesus and women is an inspiring call to action for all women, making it clear that they are equal to men in every way in the eyes of God and that it is time to raise their voices to create the just and fair world that is their legacy and due. A must read.” — Richard Moriarty, North West Editor, The Sun.
“Extensive research and compelling arguments throughout…. [Niamh Middleton] provides a solid feminist challenge to the institutional gender inequality of the Christian Church. — Gwyneth Rees, in The European.
Theologian and former teacher Niamh M. Middleton captivated audiences last year with its refreshing take on women and God with the release of Jesus and Women: Beyond Feminism (Lutterworth Press). The book was made available via ebook and hardcover, and now its popular reading is available in paperback.
“I think it is important for contemporary Christian women to be fully enlightened about how Jesus took a revolutionary attitude toward gender equality that is in serious contradiction to the institutional sexism found in Church hierarchies” , explains Middleton. “This discrimination, culminating in the Catholic Church’s ban on women’s ordination, has led to a rapid decline in church attendance by young women in the modern feminist era. For this reason, I hope my book is powerful enough to encourage Christian women to campaign together in their denominations to regain the status they had in the early Church, a status that reflected their treatment by Jesus.
In jesus and women (Lutterworth Press), Niamh Middleton combines ideas from evolutionary biology, feminism and the #MeToo movement to highlight Jesus’ revolutionary attitude towards women. Her careful interpretation, comparing the treatment and portrayal of women in the Old and New Testaments, illuminates the way forward for the treatment of women in church and society. More importantly, however, it holds the potential to greatly enrich our understanding of the divinity of Jesus.
Middleton’s bold approach encourages Christian women to claim their religion as a tool of empowerment, correcting the regressive course that Christianity has taken in this regard since Roman times. She also cites the remarkable life and untimely death of international heroine Diana, Princess of Wales as an archetypal example of why Christianity must be reclaimed by its female members. Above all, she argues forcefully that while political feminism can address the symptoms of the perennial “battle of the sexes,” only a grace revolution can bring about a full restoration of the gender harmony described in Genesis.
“Niamh M. Middleton recently lectured in Theology and Philosophy at Dublin City University from 2005-2020 until she decided to take early retirement to focus on her writing. A former primary school teacher, she previously studied at Mater Dei, Dublin and the Pontifical University of Maynooth. His main area of research concerns the implications of the theory of evolution for Christianity and the relationship between religion and science in general. His previous publications include Homo Lapsus: Sin, Evolution, and the God Who Is Love (2019).
She spent most of her life as an atheist and eventually married her childhood sweetheart Gerry, who wanted to become a Roman Catholic priest. Despite their disagreement about religion, he ultimately decided against becoming a priest, due to their desire to marry, which they did, and became parents to two daughters. Middleton remained an atheist for more than a decade after her marriage until a difficult event in her life caused her to withdraw into her religion and draw solace from it. She became a born-again Christian and in 1994 began a study of theology which culminated in obtaining a doctorate in 2003. She lives in the seaside suburb of Clontarf, Dublin, where she is involved in a group of ecumenical Bible study.
For more information on Niamh M. Middleton and Jesus and Women: Beyond Feminismplease visit www.NiamhMiddletonAuthor.com.
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