Catholic Women Speak: Bringing our Gifts to the Table

edited by the Catholic Women Speak Network
Publisher: Paulist Press

Product Details
AudienceCatholic Interest


2016 Catholic Press Association Award for Gender Issues

Catholic Women Speak is a ground-breaking, thought-provoking anthology of essays on women and family life that asks questions and explores issues that do not find space for open discussion in the Church. The writers are women who represent a broad international perspective and come from a variety of personal backgrounds who believe that the Church cannot come to a wise and informed understanding of family life without listening to women.

"Pope Francis has repeatedly said that he wants a "messy" Church, a Church that is not afraid to take risks in order to live the joyous adventure of faith. This book expresses the messy realities of women's lives, realities that challenge the Church's current practice in many ways, realities that the Church must acknowledge in order to communicate the Gospel to future generations."--from the foreword.

Among the contributors, who represent a rich diversity and complexity of Catholic women's lives, are: Tina Beattie, Lisa Sowle Cahill, Ursula King, Margaret A. Farley, Christine Schenk and Elizabeth Johnson.


"The essays go some way towards revealing the transformation taking place throughout the world as women begin to take part in a dialogue from which they have too long been excluded... Each section is prefaced by a useful introduction which brings together the major points from the essays which follow. All the pieces... are highly readable and display deep theological reflection about personal experience."--Pat Pinsent, in Women, Word, Spirit

"Offers reflections by leading female theologians and personal stories related to issues such as contraception, divorce, same-sex relationships and interchurch unions, as well as poverty, violence and the religious life." --The LA Times

"In 40 short essays mixing the sociological, theological, and sometimes deeply personal, the writers raise a number of weighty concerns for the hotly anticipated worldwide meeting of prelates on family life - centered on the fact that extraordinarily few women are invited or involved... The women in the book do not shy away from talking about some of the more heated issues facing the Synod - like same-sex marriage, divorce and remarriage, and widespread use of contraception. But they also discuss little-publicized issues like struggles faced in interfaith marriages, specific challenges for women in Africa and Latin America, and the particular impact poverty has on women." --National Catholic Report


The Catholic Women Speak Network (CWSN) is an online forum for theological dialogue and collaboration around issues relating to Catholic women's roles, responsibilities and relationships in the Church and society. It is administered by the Digby Stuart Research Center for Religion, Society and Human Flourishing at the University of Roehampton in London.