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Equality in Church in the Quaker Community

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  1. The Biblical Reinterpretation of Women's Speaking in Church
  2. Women Preachers
  3. Women's Meetings

Just as spiritual warriors had dismantled the contemporary conception of women's social position and rights, Quaker women set out to take the divine by storm. Indeed the Quaker concept of equality also applied to women in church. It was thus considered that they had the same right as their male counterparts to speak, preach and meet, which is why many of the most famous Quaker prophetesses justified and defended that right. The Church had always made a distinction between the sexes. 'Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law' reflected the general attitude towards women's activities in most of the churches in seventeenth-century England, thus closing most church offices to women. However, the theory of women's equality in Church developed with conviction within the 'Society of Friends'. Quakers used the following Pauline passage, '[t]here is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus,' to demonstrate that in Christ, there could be no subjection; men and women were equal.

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