That’s a slightly overstated title to this post. There were some pockets of the Church that had women pastors when the incomparable Dorothy Sayers wrote her books. And her influence on the Church remains, and that is why I am glad to recommend your reading of Laura K. Simmons’ book Creed Without Chaos.
Any fans and readers of Dorothy Sayers out there? Which of her books do you like the most and why?
Often I find it valuable to begin reading the works of someone by reading a good introduction, a good study of a life and evaluation, and Laura’s book will fit the bill. What I like most about this book is that she summarizes the “theology” of Sayers, while most studies of Sayers focus almost exclusively on her fiction and sometimes totally ignore her (ever present) theology. Just in case you don’t know of Dorothy Sayers, she is often considered the most significant British Christian intellectual female of the 20th Century. And Laura Simmons wants you to read Dorothy Sayers — and if you read her book you will surely end up wanting to read more of Sayers.
Simmons discusses Sayers’ context, her theology — delving into topics like incarnation, trinity, sin, atonement, and special attention to how Sayers framed our work as vocation — and she also clarifies her writings on the art of writing and art itself.
Dorothy Sayers gave a famous address called “Are Women Human?,” and Simmons has a solid chapter on “women’s issues.” It’s worth the price of the book. But the book is much more … it is simply one of the finest studies of Dorothy Sayers available today.
OK, of Dorothy Sayers’ own works, what to read?
Along with Simmons, I suggest reading Barbara Reynolds’ complete biography, Dorothy Sayers, and then if you want even more, read her Letters. [You can chase down the other volumes through this link.]
My favorite book of Sayers is the Mind of the Maker, but many here will also want to buy and read her Are Women Human?. I’ve read others but I suggest that you begin here.