I'm not Eve—women's place in theology redefined

A VOTE TAKEN TO DECIDE whether women are human! In the year 584 A.D., a council was held in Lyon, France, where the question of women's humanity was debated by church leaders. Sixty-three delegates were present; 32 voted yes and 31 voted no. Women were declared human by one vote.

What could possibly have led Christendom to such a place? Something must have gone awry from the time when Jesus walked the earth. Jesus associated with women freely and welcomed them as followers. In fact, one account tells of his holding what might be considered a theological conversation with a woman of Samaria—at a time when men of his culture would not even acknowledge their mothers or sisters in public. Women remained by Jesus' side at the cross and were the first at the tomb after his resurrection. Such a debate as was held at Lyon nearly 600 years later could not have been based on the examples given in the gospel stories.

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