Each religion around the world has differing perspectives on the ordination of women, or the appointment of women to some of the highest offices within the faith. Have a custom research paper written on any religion and how they view women in positions of leadership and instruction.
In many ancient religions, such as those of the Sumerians and Akkadians, women were named high priestesses and held positions of authority and prominence. Similar roles were filled by women in Ancient Egyptian religions as well as in the traditions of Ancient Greece and Rome. Hinduism allows women to serve as gurus, as well as in the roles of the two types of priests, purohits and pujaris. In Buddhism, ordained nuns were called bhikkhunis, but this practice is far less common in the modern era.
Christianity, as an incredibly diverse faith, has equally diverse perspective on the ordination of women. Many denominations, including Roman Catholicism, followers of the Orthodox Church, and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, do not ordain women. The Protestant church, comprised of numerous sects, also has a diverse approach to the ordination of women.
- Baptist churches, for example, are largely supportive of the ordination of women;
- The Mennonite church largely rejects the practice.
- The United Methodist Church has a long-standing tradition of the ordination of women, tracing well into the 19th century.
- For Jehovah's Witnesses, ordination as a minister can be bestowed upon a woman; deacons, however, are exclusively male.
- Other Christian churches, such as Lutheranism, leave the decision of whether or not to ordain women to the local governing body to decide.
Muslim women face a unique challenge regarding their ability to lead congregations in prayer. While the majority of Islamic sects support women serving in this leadership role when in a group comprised exclusively of women, all reject the notion of women leading congregations of men and women. While the practices of Judaism are changing with regards to women serving as rabbis, there is still a great deal of opposition to women being ordained to this role.