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Bleeding Women in Sacred Space: Negotiating Theological Belonging in the Pathway to Priesthood

Parker, Eve (2022) 'Bleeding Women in Sacred Space: Negotiating Theological Belonging in the Pathway to Priesthood.', Feminist Theology, 30 (2). pp. 129-142.


This article focuses on the theological journeying of women ordinands in the Church of England, who have had to negotiate their belonging in the ‘pathway’ to Priesthood in ordination training. Attention is given to the extent to which the personhood of women is enabled to truly flourish in a theological education system that is dominated by men and predominantly patriarchal and Western theologising. It suggests that a gendered politics of belonging has been used and maintained through the socio-religious construct of ‘shame’ in order to maintain the boundaries of belonging within the formation process, and therefore calls for an en-gendered ‘pathway to the priesthood’. This is exemplified in a re-reading of the bleeding woman who dares to challenge the hegemonies of patriarchy and purity by touching the cloak of Christ in Luke 8:40-48. This research is part of an ongoing project with Common Awards at Durham University that explores barriers to belonging in theological education for those in training for ordination. It has therefore received ethical approval for interviews and participant observations.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Date accepted:08 June 2021
Date deposited:12 November 2021
Date of first online publication:10 November 2021
Date first made open access:12 November 2021

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