What Is the Role of Women in Christianity Modern Society?

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The role of women in Christianity is a complicated one, and scholars are largely split on whether to take a complementarian or egalitarian view of women in modern society. Orthodox Christianity generally accepts that women and men have different but equal roles in Christianity, while progressive Christian groups generally accept that men and women are equally suited for various roles.

Historical context is significant in determining the true Biblical approach to the role of women in Christianity, and a PBS Frontline investigation into the topic found Biblical evidence to support that women should have a progressive role in Christianity. When citing examples such as Jesus spending time with female friends, women owning property used as church meeting spaces and the role of women in early Christianity as missionaries, a person could make the case that Christianity has always been progressive in women's roles.

Not all scholars take this view, however. For example, Cedarville University, a small Christian liberal arts college, made changes to its curriculum that reinforce the complementarian interpretation of women's roles in the Church. This model asserts that women are not allowed to take on pastoral duties as that would violate the headship of male church leaders. With such drastically different perspectives on the same issue, it is unlikely that Christian scholars will reach a consensus any time soon.