Dame Christian Howard has died at age 82 after a lifelong struggle to win women’s right serve as priests in the Church of England. Thanks to the tireless work of Howard and others, the Church finally granted women the rights to be ordained as priests in 1992.
A member of the Church of England’s General Synod, Howard wrote an influential 1972 report called “The Ordination of Women.” In this report, Howard analyzed the history women in her own church and in the Hebrew and Greek classical traditions. The report would become a key document in the struggle for women right to ordination, and was revised and reissued in 1978 and 1984.
A highly-accomplished women, Howard studied under Michael Ramsey, who would later become archbishop of Canterbury, and earned the Lambeth Diploma in Theology. She was named a Dame Commander of the Order of British Empire in 1986, an honor equivalent to knighthood in men. She served on the World Council of Churches’ faith and order committee from 1961-1975.