The role of women in the church : a critical study of the roles of women in the church leadership in (South) Africa, with special reference to Scottsville Presbyterian church, Drakensberg Presbytery.
Major issues that this dissertation concerns itself with are: patriarchalisation of the church, societal valuation of women, changing culture and the changing images of women, and finally unmasking the sin of patriarchy. The essay will be examining such issues as what makes patriarchy so strong? Why does the church hold dearly on patriarchal systems that exclude and undermine women yet preaching universality of the church which emphazises community of believers? In this community of believers all are believed to be equal in Christ Jesus. How then does the church's witness to the world remain" good news" and valid when the half or the majority of the community remain marginalised and subjugated? The study traces the background history of the status and role of women in the church. The historical background examines the place and images of women in the Hebrew culture. Women leadership during the patriarchal period is also examined. Christ being the head of the church, the concept of Christo logy is explored in relation to women. Biblical and Pauline attitudes towards women are also examined since they influence the place of women in the church. The attitudes towards women in the church leadership roles from both women and men are examined. The status and place of women in the church are influenced by religious, cultural, social and economic aspects. The study therefore, is concluded by raising suggestions that will bring about transformation for the betterment of women's place and status. This is in hope that, the church will become a community of believers where women and men will participate equally. Core to this is the investigation, exploration and examination of the leadership roles of women in the church. This is from different perspectives, for instance, how are women represented in church leadership positions? What are the numerical ratios between women and men? What role do the structures of the church play in maintaining this? What is the role played by men and women? Answers to these questions raise the challenges that the church should be prepared to face in the new millenium