CLEARING the way for women to be consecrated bishops in
the Church of England is unfinished business after the defeat in
the General Synod last November. In the pause before the fine
detail is discussed yet again, we thought to answer readers'
questions about what exactly were the theological objections. We
commissioned four main pieces, for and against women bishops, from
Evangelical and Catholic viewpoints (encountering a few refusals
along the way). We invited the contributors to consult whom they
wished, and most filed in time for us to show the pieces to the
others, to allow emendations and additions. There are also a few
other pieces we thought illuminating. These are, of course, not
definitive. As Edward Dowler suggests in the final piece, there are
vaster areas of theological reflection about authority and gender
with which the Church ought to engage. But, for the time being, we
hope that these pages might provide a useful insight into the most
pressing issues in the debate.