The book compels us to consider the many contributions made by Hild and other women religious to the traditions of pastoral care, liturgy, and learning, but now eclipsed by a patriarchal historical agenda. Uncovering the religious authority of Hild and other medieval women religious "could open the way not only to a more balanced pastoral practice but to a practice that reflects more authentically the mind of Jesus himself, who included women in his mission in a way quite remarkable for his time" (20l). This book is an integral resource for those concerned with the history of women in the Christian Church, as well as the historical development of ministry and practice.
Anne Inman has provided a quite readable study of Hild of Whitby that places her within her contemporary context as well as within this more honest telling of the Christian story.
Inman’s book offers a history of the life of Hild born from careful and skilful interrogation of primary sources and their context, and from which follows valuable debate about the role of women in the church in the Anglo-Saxon world. Inman argues that her study confirms that "abbesses once held positions of authority that were in many respects on a par with those of bishops and that they engaged in many pastoral, liturgical and sacramental activities, which, in the Catholic Church are now the sole preserve of the male priesthood." (xi)... Inman convincingly argues, through careful analysis, that Hild was a spiritual master of her time, and her influence should not be underplayed. Readers of Inman’s study will enjoy her academic rigour and bold advocacy for Hild, produced so that “her brilliant light might shine out more fully in the tradition that she helped to shape”. (204).