Welcome to CBE’s Library

The purpose of this volume is to provide the reader with current conceptualizations and theory related to women as global leaders, recent empirical investigations of the phenomenon, analysis of effective global leadership development programs, and portraits of women who lead, or have led, in a global role. 

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In a fantastic Her.meneutics article, the ever astute Rachel Marie Stone explores the question of why her sons, despite being brought up by an egalitarian mom, display certain stereotypically (for lack of a better word) boyish proclivities. She writes:

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“You are nothing but a product of your biology.”

I’ve heard this statement in different forms over the years, from popular media to large volumes of scholarly work, from the progressive left and the traditionalist right, from scientist and non-scientist alike. The specific mode of thinking—that your genes ultimately determine your identity, and your future, is known as biological determinism. It is a popular idea that has been around for quite a long time. The advent of molecular biology in the latter part of the twentieth century has only given it impetus. Importantly, I have also heard modifications of this statement in the church—percolating from the pulpit to the pew, supported through sermon and song, and legitimized through liturgy and “leadership.”

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Although the issue of low self-esteem in women often headlines glossy magazines, we the church are responsible for addressing it. But women’s low self-esteem is directly related to the church’s theology of gender as well as how we read Scripture. 

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When my brother and his wife announced their unexpected pregnancy, my family was shocked. My brother and his now wife have been together for fourteen years, got engaged in January, and married in June. A whole two months later, the couple announced that they were expecting a baby. Timing is a strange thing in their world, and given that they are both almost forty years old, we were rightly shocked.

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As a psychologist, I have to be perceptive. Having worked with abused women for five years, I look for the unspoken words and hidden gestures that speak to the truth behind their narratives. Recently, I’ve found myself doing the same thing with movie characters. While characters in movies are supposed to be fictional, they often point us toward real human experiences. These characters can teach us, inspire us, infuriate us, and they can also mirror us, and the lessons God is trying to solidify in our hearts.

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Many know the story of Queen Esther from the Bible. However, often our own culture and struggles can lead us to “discover” lessons that are not part of the text, or miss important details that are. Often in churches, Esther becomes obscured to the point where this brave woman who was mightily used by God becomes passively subject to the decisions of men. For example, a marriage book released recently by a popular pastor and his wife used the story of Esther to promote obedience to one’s husband, contrasting disobedient Queen Vashti with a “submissive” Esther. Is submission to one’s husband truly the lesson of this narrative?

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Weaving together evidence from sociology, anthropology, history, and biblical studies, this book shows that patriarchal and hierarchial views of gender arise from agrarian culture, along with images of woman as unequal, inferior, unclean, and evil. This book is a valuable resource for theologically conservative Christians who are trying to rethink the connenction between theology and gender.

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I enter the delivery room, not knowing the sex of the one I have carried in my womb for nine months of hope and fear, joy and pain, preparation and trepidation. Upon the last push, “It’s a boy!” rings out in the room, but as he lies on my chest, his sex doesn’t matter; it matters that he is a healthy baby.

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How different are men and women, really? To what degree are those differences hardwired? Are there limits to what science can tell us? What is the significance of God making humans male and female?

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