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Stories of female leaders from church history

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St Catherine of Siena: background

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The basic sources for Catherine’s life and ministry remain the biographies written soon after her death by her followers, including Raymond of Capua’s Life and Thomas of Siena’s Supplement. There is an adequate English translation of Raymond’s life:  The Life of St. Catherine of Siena (tr. George Lamb) TAN Books,...

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Marie Dentière: Background

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A short online account of Marie’s life can be found here. Her defence of female preaching, and a preface she wrote for a published sermon of Calvin’s have been translated and published: M. Dentière (tr. M.B. McKinley), Epistle to Marguerite de Navarre; and, Preface to a sermon by John Calvin University of Chicago Press, 2004. More extensive...

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St Samthann: background

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We have a life of St Samthann, which survives in three Latin manuscripts, the one in the Bodleian in Oxford being the most reliable. Dorothy Africa prepared an English translation, which is published in T. Head (ed.) Medieval Hagiography: An Anthology (Routledge, 2001). She is recorded in the Martyrology of Oengus, and in the Martyrology of Donegal, both...

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Mary Dyer: Background

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Mary Dyer’s story was originally told in Edward Burrough’s Declaration of the Sad and Great Martyrdom… (1661), which told the story of the Quaker martyrs of New England. (Burrough himself died in prison in London for his faith in 1662). The text of Burrough’s Declaration is available online here. She has a recent biography: Ruth...

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Catherine Booth: background details

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The best book-length biography of Catherine Booth remains F. Booth-Tucker, The Life of Catherine Booth, the Mother of the Salvation Army (1892). Several histories of Salvationism are valuable in gleaning details of her life and influence; see particularly the six volume History of the Salvation Army by R. Sandall and others (1979) and Pamela J....

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Junia: background details

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Junia the apostle has suffered at the hands of men who didn’t want to think she could exist. Scott McKnight wrote an excellent little ebook, Junia is not Alone, which tells something of this history. A fuller account can be found in Eldon J. Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle (Fortress Press, 2006), which summarises scholarly consensus of the past...

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