Debate over women's public ministry tends to focus on biblical and theological issues without grappling with the historical questions. Janette Hassey counters the popular but misleading claim that evangelical feminism (the movement for women's equality rooted in Scripture and evangelical Christian faith) is simply an accommodation to recent secular feminist and theologically liberal movements for women's rights. Rather, evangelical feminism in America first surfaced in the mid-nineteenth century and accelerated at the turn of the century. Those who endorsed women's public ministry were convinced that a literal approach to the Bible, and especially prophecy, demanded such leadership by women.
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