The Very Reverend Lorna Hood gave a hostage to fortune in allowing her chaplain and herself to be photographed openly mocking the famous statue of John Knox (your report, 4 September).
As this is his only monument in Scotland and the Kirk failed to protect his grave (which lies below a parking lot), it was a less than gracious gesture from a female moderator.
In the Old Testament era, women enjoyed great liberty and esteem both as prophetesses and leaders in Jewish society but by the time of Christ this was no longer the situation.
By then Jewish society was male-dominated and the status of women radically reduced so that Jesus’s openly inclusive approach was a remarkable feature of his mission. Knox was a man of time and reflected Calvin’s approach to the Bible though, as we see in the debate on sexual orientation, Biblical quotes can be found to suit most tastes. His ire was directed against the Catholic monarchs of his day who, in these islands, were female and he lived to regret his outburst when Elisabeth became England’s queen.
Compared with the gloomy Andrew Melville, Knox is an attractive figure who clearly liked women, married well (twice) and left barrels of wine for friends to mark his passing.
(Dr) John Cameron