Almost 1/10th of the world’s population are Muslim women and, in compiling her book, Miriam Adeney, a missiologist with a background in anthropology, gives her readers an insightful and very readable overview on Muslim women’s multifaceted worlds and how some have encountered God’s love for them in Christ.
Writing with head and heart and drawing on a wide range of research, which is well documented in the notes for further study, she dedicates 4 chapters to 12 stories of women from the Arab world, Iran, South East Asia and Africa, who have become followers of Christ, largely speaking for themselves. She also explores the range of roles Muslim women play in their varied societies and comments that the stage of a women’s life and the role she plays is often as significant in understanding her as her nationality.
These biographies are alternated with chapters that draw out principles for the attention of mission executive and practitioner alike, both men and women. While these chapters can only serve as an introduction to such themes as women’s learning styles, family life, singles and constraints in development work, they also contain some concise and helpful lists on various topics from stories of Jesus that most appeal to Muslim women and how to teach Christian doctrine through them, to criteria for success in holistic project work and why Muslim women come to Christ.
Adeney’s respectful, appreciative approach is extremely refreshing, although possibly challenging for some: while dispelling some myths and acknowledging the best in Islamic culture over the centuries, the liberation and completeness Muslim women find in Christ is a clearly expressed. Possibly the highest praise I can give this book is to say that I feel I could even give it beneficially to a Muslim friend to read without fear of her feeling patronised or her culture demeaned.
Its deserved audience is, however, for the most part those in theological and mission training as well as those already engaged, whether in their own culture or while embracing another, as a professional or just good neighbour, in introducing Muslim women to Christ.