“Such hope turned to ashes, and so quickly. A dazzling vision for the future reduced to a grey monotone within a few generations. A brave new world undermined and forgotten.”
These are the poignant opening lines written by Chris Geraghty in his new book arguing Jesus practiced a radically inclusive approach to women that the Church has failed to follow.
In the introduction, Geraghty writes: “Not another book about Jesus! Haven’t we had more than enough by now?”
After completing my initial read (and I say initial because this is a book that begs to be reread, my highlighted sections and notes in the margin confirm this) of Jesus the Forgotten Feminist, I’ve concluded that the answer to the question is no. We definitely have not “had more than enough by now”.
Geraghty’s book draws upon his early experiences growing up in a Catholic family, attending Catholic school and lecturing students in theology and liturgy. These lectures feature a hefty dose of forensic analysis - carefully honed during his time spent serving as a district court judge in New South Wales.
After raising the important question: “Did Jesus himself only choose men for ministry?” - Geraghty provides enthralling insights and witticisms to again and again drive home the answer. No, Jesus did not limit ministry to men. Jesus was a lover of women. He walked with them, stood beside them, raised them up and brought them dignity.
In Jesus the Forgotten Feminist, Geraghty reminds us of the compassion, kindness and inclusivity of Jesus - the Jesus of the Gospels who spoke out against the discriminatory beliefs of the culture and time he was born into. This book demands that the modern day Church reframes its view of men and women and begins treating them as equals, just as Jesus did.
I would strongly recommend this book not only for Catholics or those of the Christian faith. I would recommend it for those who find fault in Christianity as a religion and label it “sexist” or “misogynistic”. As Geraghty eloquently points out, the inequity that exists between men and women is not in line with the way Jesus treated women.