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Maid in God’s Image: In Search of the Unruly Woman

Darton, Longman & Todd, 2008

 RRP $38.95

Reviewed by Karyl Davison, Rural Ministry Coordinator, Presbyteries of Mary Burnett and Central Qld

 It is perhaps one of the greatest ironies in the church throughout the ages that despite the radical message of the gospels, and the Genesis 1 assertion that all people are made in God’s image, the church has often been complicit in the reinforcement of prevailing norms of gender difference in societies, and the negative portrayal of the feminine.

In Maid in God’s Image, Wright explores how the church, like Jesus, can challenge the status quo so that the female experience can be valued and validated – that the feminine be reappraised in a more positive way.

 From her position as a Catholic woman and mother, Wright explores past and present societal and ecclesiastical attitudes to women and the feminine.

 By interrogating literature and film she focuses on those elements of the feminine experience that are usually silenced, trivialised or repressed.

 This book will be deeply challenging for those inculturated in the traditional patriarchal church.

 It is informative and thought provoking, though not a book you might pick as light holiday reading.