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Incompatible with God’s Design: A History of the Women’s Ordination Movement in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church 

By Mary Jeremy Daigler

Incompatible with God’s Design is the first comprehensive history of the Roman Catholic women’s ordination movement in the United States. Mary Jeremy Daigler explores how the focus on ordination, and not merely “increased participation” in the life and ministries of the church, has come to describe a broad movement. Moving well beyond the role of such organizations as the Women’s Ordination Conference, this study also addresses the role of international and local groups.

In an effort to debunk a number of misperceptions about the movement, from its date of origin to its demographic profile, Daigler explores a vast array of topics. Starting with the movement’s historical background from the early American period through the early 20th century to Vatican II and afterward, she considers the role of women (especially Catholicism’s more religious adherents) in the movement’s evolution, the organization of the ordination movement in the United States, the role and response of clergy and Vatican teachings, the reality of international influences on the U.S. movement, and the full range of challenges—past and present—to the ordination movement.

Incompatible with God’s Design is compelling reading for any student of theology and women’s studies, as well as those interested in staying abreast with the changing role of women within the U.S. Roman Catholic Church.

Mary Jeremy Daigler has been a visiting scholar at the Mount St. Agnes Theological Center for Women in Baltimore since 2008. She holds a doctor of ministry in church administration, a master of divinity from the Andover Newton Theological School, Massachusetts, and a master of arts in Classical Languages from the Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of Through the Windows: A History of the Ministry of Higher Education among the Sisters of Mercy (2001).

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