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Women’s voices are often unheard and unreported; and their place can be controversial. This book brings together the voices of Christian women scholars and practitioners at the nexus of Christianity, mission and Islam. It comes out of the colloquium of the same name, held in Melbourne, Australia in 2015, when twenty-eight women from different nations and nationalities, different ages and theological perspectives, and different religious backgrounds met together – those of Christian background, and also first and second generation Christians of Muslim background. The colloquium grew from a recognition that women’s voices are underrepresented to such an extent that they are almost not present in much of the discussion around missiology and Islam, despite the numbers of women with both significant practical experience, and engaging in higher research and scholarship in the area. The When Women Speak... network plays a unique role in world mission – giving voice to women engaged on the missiological interface between Christianity and Islam. I am delighted that the scholarship from the first When Women Speak... colloquium is now accessible to the wider mission community through this publication, which I hope and pray will be the first of many.
Dr David Williams, Director of Training and Development, CMS-Australia
When Women Speak… began with one woman’s vision to see the significant scholarship and reflective practice of women at the interface of Christianity, Islam and Missiology influence contemporary missiological thinking and practice; and so address major gaps in the current discourse. In partnership, this vision was birthed through a Colloquium that gathered women together to grapple intellectually and prayerfully with their lived experience of coming alongside women within Islam. This book and the network that bears the same name are the outcomes of that gathering. From this small beginning, hundreds of women and men have been envisioned, engaged and equipped to share the hope we have in Jesus with women across the Muslim world. My prayer is that this book would continue to shape and grow this movement.
Dr Christine Gobius, National Director, Interserve Australia
The 20th century should be remembered in missions as the time when women got lost. Over that time, the voices of women missionaries, leaders and facilitators of new Christian movements were all too often excluded from missiological discourse and strategic mission discussion. I hope that this book signals a revival in the contribution of women to mission in a way that values what they have to offer.
Dr Evelyn Hibbert, Academic Dean at Booth College and Missiologist
Living in a time of intense questioning of missiology and the changing face of the world, discovering avenues and heart paths to engage with women in Islam is particularly crucial. It was this dream that birthed the When Women Speak... Colloquium. I believe it was the first of its kind. The book coming out of this gathering is an essential element for those wanting to be challenged to consider how can we help bring the voice of God to women in Islam; how can we hear them, how can a difference be made in our time. My life was changed, made richer as an outcome.
Dr C Gail Stathis, Executive Director, EME Ministries, and Senior Pastor, Glyfada Christian Centre, Greece