Behind Closed doors

Behind Closed doors

Title of Book: Behind Closed doors

Author: Anna Lee

Published: MCSCI  2024

Reviewer: Miriam Williams

In the Introduction to her engaging and informative booklet Anne Lee asserts that “No doors are closed to the Lord and, in many cases, it more a matter of a different kind of space.”

She then goes on to describe the unique opportunities she has as a single woman in a conservative Muslim society to “share life with” her Muslim women friends. The range of arenas in which she is able to meet women in their spaces is large and challenges the view of those who imagine that Muslim women are restricted to their homes.

Whilst Lee concurs that family is central in Muslim society, she notes writers who see the women as holding influence in the carrying out of rituals framing rites of passage in the lives of family members. She challenges the axiom that “Muslim women are oppressed” and calls out the “narrow view” of some who have argued that “to go directly to women with the good news …would …involve a circumventing of the male authority in their lives” and so would be detrimental to women’s lives. She asks that women are credited with the authority and influence that they do hold and cites Hibbert, who found that female networks help to reduce dependency on men, as well as provide socio-economic support where needed.

Lee makes a good argument that evangelism, discipleship and church planting have an  intentionally gendered approach in conservative Muslim contexts as a way forward in mission work. She asserts her conviction that Muslim women can hear about and respond to the love of Jesus apart from the men in their family. She describes how the hoped for “natural fellowshipping” as a ‘house group’ , formed after male and female members of the same extended family came to Christ, failed to materialize; as in her context of the Arab culture, men and women do not tend to meet together. And she suggests that creating options for women to thrive independently from men can help the church flourish by bringing theological insights only women can bring.

In writing this book it is clear that Lee has found inspiration from both Biblical stories of God engaging with women and from articles and books written by women academics and practitioners in the field. In the sharing of these sources she encourages women to reflect theologically on their practice and build conviction in our God -given role as women uniquely able to meet women in the spaces they inhabit, bringing the gospel with us.

The book is available in hard copy of pdf format on request from https://www.mcsci.org.uk/resources/publications-np/behind-closed-doors/

(c) When Women Speak… June 2024

384 544 When Women Speak

Leave a Reply

Start Typing