For the Good of the Church

March 11, 2021

Professor Gabrielle Thomas, Lecturer in Early Christianity and Anglican Studies, has published her second book in less than a year: For the Good of the Church: Unity, Theology, and Women.  Thomas, who came to YDS/Berkeley in fall 2019, had earlier published The Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church: Explorations in Theology and Practice, which she edited. These two works join her first book, The Image of God in the Theology of Gregory of Nazianzus, which was published in 2019.

Based on qualitative research with five focus groups, For the Good of the Church, in the words of Cambridge Professor David Ford, “adds an important dimension to one of the most promising movements of our time, Receptive Ecumenism,” a concept first framed by theologian Paul Murray at the University of Durham. Theologian Paula Gooder explains that “this important book draws together how we learn both from other churches and from the voices of women … [and] challenges us to reflect on how we listen properly to the experiences of those who are different from us or whose voices are sometimes not heard.”

Thomas’ is certainly a voice deeply valued by YDS students, and Berkeley students in particular. At the end of last spring semester, only her second at Yale, Thomas was voted by students as the YDS representative in the Inspiring Yale showcase of 13 outstanding educators in the university’s graduate and professional schools. She has also been the chief architect in redesigning Berkeley’s Anglican Studies curriculum.