Sophia and Daughters Revisited – Print

Sophia and Daughters Revisited: Reflections on Women of Biblical Connection

By Rosalie Sugrue

Print Publication details

Publishing: 15 July 2019
Language: English
Words: 57,100
196 pages, b/w
Paperback 6″ x 9″

NZ Print edition
ISBN: 9781988572123

US Print-on-demand edition
ISBN: 9781079564211

NZ $30.00


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NZ$30.00 plus postage**

Australian Customers
NZ$44.54 including airmail postage

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NZ$58.06 including airmail postage


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Sophia and Daughters Revisited:
Reflections on women of biblical connection.
Reviewed in Touchstone, December 2019.

Author: Rosalie Sugrue. Publisher: Philip Garside, Wellington, 2019.195 pages. Reviewer: John Meredith.

 “In 2013 Rosalie Sugrue published Sophia & Daughters, reflections on 29 wise women from the Bible. Some of these, such as Eve, Sarah, Esther and Martha were reasonably well known; others such as Mahlah, Achsah, the wife of Manoah and Joanna were largely buried in the biblical text. Working often with sparse facts, Rosalie used her imagination to bring these characters alive.  Underlying her work was a profound theological conviction that life and faith need to be freed from images and values defined by men and a male God.

Sophia & Daughters is now out of print. Rosalie has continued to develop her thinking in Sophia and Daughters Revisited.

The women in the earlier book have found their place in Sophia and Daughters Revisited together with new material. This includes addressing issues such as rape, incest and marital infidelity as experienced by women in the Bible. This is particularly important as both then and now women who have been abused or abandoned have often been left to bear shame, guilt and moralistic judgement. An interesting addition is a sole male biblical character, Oded. Oded is included because of his courage in speaking up and saving thousands of women and children from acute suffering as prisoners of a cruel king.

There is a helpful list of biblical kings and queens and an alphabetical list of over 110 biblical women. Queens were usually consorts, not sovereign in their own right.  One of these consorts was Vashti who refused to yield to the king’s demand that exploited her as a woman. Rosalie develops Vashti’s inspiring story and presents her rightfully as a heroine.

Four women from outside the Bible are included: Argula von Grumbach, an influential supporter of Martin Luther, Susanna Wesley, who played a significant role in shaping the origins of the Methodist Church, Lenna Button, a key figure in establishing the first health camps for New Zealand children, and Ann Turner, who served with courage in the Wesleyan mission station in the Hokianga. These were all women who witnessed to justice, human rights, social compassion and enduring loyalty.  A number of suggestions are made as to how their stories and other stories in the book could be presented dramatically in small gatherings or services of worship.

The last section is labelled ‘Additional resources.’  There are seasonal liturgies and fresh thoughtfully-expressed prayers for many different occasions and circumstances. There is a house blessing ritual. The book concludes with an index of all women named in the text and handy references for special occasions. Attention should also be drawn to the comprehensive prayer for women with which the book begins.

Like the earlier book, Sophia and Daughters Revisited is a gift from Rosalie’s creative thought and compassionate insight. It draws attention to women’s stories that are often neglected or unknown. It challenges all who read the Bible to think beyond favourite stories of Abraham, Moses and David and to explore the stories of women hidden below the surface. In doing this individual readers, groups and congregations will find themselves enriched.”

Book Description

Rediscover these characters as spirited, wise women of passion and compassion.

Tap into long-serving, New Zealand, Methodist lay preacher Rosalie Sugrue’s creative imagination as she tells the stories of 35 Bible women from their point of view.

Worship leaders and preachers, these stories and dialogues are perfect for you to share during the sermon or reflection time in your next service, and when these women appear in your lectionary scripture readings. The reflections are also suitable for personal devotions.

This easy-to-use book has feminist imagery and references focused on women of the Bible. It includes special prayers – on children, teamwork, families, inclusiveness, Advent, Lent, mothers, Bible Sunday, Disability Sunday, disasters – as well as dialogues suitable for reading aloud, and reflections on wisdom, journeys and aging.

This updated and expanded edition now provides reflections on Tamar, Dinah, Naomi, Michal, Vashti, Jephthah’s Daughter, Argula von Grumbach, Lenna Button, Susanna Wesley and Ann Turner.

Rosalie has also included lots of lists and resources with a female focus to help you explore in pairs, groups or as individuals, Bible women and significant men. There are also many new prayers.

“Rosalie Sugrue’s imagination, insight and teaching skills enliven this material. If you are looking for stories, prayers and liturgies to introduce or lead worship, focused on the history of women in the Bible, Sophia & Daughters has strong feminist imagery and reference.

Here is a sequence of neglected and fascinating records of Biblical women extended into dramatic stories. At the same time, the worship resources are firmly set in a Southern hemisphere context which is user-friendly and address the church year as well as special occasion services.

The format will stimulate participation, provide a sense of drama or simply create space for meditative prayer. Use this book and see!” Shirley Erena Murray, hymn writer

Short Book Description

Rediscover these characters as spirited, wise women of passion and compassion.

This easy-to-use book has strong feminist imagery and references focused on women of the Bible. Updated and expanded, it now provides reflections on Tamar, Dinah, Naomi, Michal, Vashti, Jephthah’s Daughter, Lenna Button, Susanna Wesley and Ann Turner to use in church during the sermon slot. Includes prayers & dialogues.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Prayer for Women

Spiritual Women

  • Sophia
  • Sarah
  • Miriam
  • Mahlah & Sisters
  • Hannah
  • Abigail
  • Esther
  • An Unknown Wife
  • Priscilla
  • Eunice

Spirited Women

  • Eve and the Snake
  • Rebekah
  • Rahab
  • Achsah
  • Deborah
  • Wife of Manoah
  • The Medium at Endor
  • Bathsheba
  • Jezebel
  • Vashti
  • The Canaanite Woman — A Reflection
  • Martha

Dispirited Women

  • Dinah • Tamar
  • Naomi
  • Michal

Spirit Filled Women

  • Hagar
  • Leah
  • Jephthah’s Daughter
  • The Little Hebrew Maid
  • Elizabeth
  • Anna
  • A Woman at the Synagogue
  • A Woman of the Streets
  • Joanna
  • Lydia

Other Notable People

  • Oded
  • Argula von Grumbach (1492–1554)
  • Susanna Wesley (1669–1742)
  • Lenna Button (1901-1940)
  • Ann Turner (1798–1893)
  • Bible Queens and Kings
  • Alphabet of Bible Women
  • Alphabet of Bible Men
  • Bible names in Māori
  • Bible names in latter days

Additional Resources

  • Resources with a Female Focus
  • For study groups
  • Seasonal Liturgies, Prayers and Reflections
  • References & Acknowledgements
  • Index of Women Named in this Book
  • About the Author

About the Author

Rosalie Reynolds Sugrue is a fifth generation West Coaster. Both her parents being fourth generation Coasters whose forebears came seeking gold. Rosalie’s great grandfather, James Reynolds, was a local preacher from Cornwall who preached to miners on the beaches and helped establish the first Methodist church in Hokitika. His wife, Eliza, signed the petition that gave women the vote.

Rosalie’s mother Elva Reynolds was a Methodist Deacon and also a lay preacher. Rosalie is a past president of the NZ Lay Preachers’ Association, and the inaugural facilitator of the Methodist Lay Preachers Network 2004, serving as a co-facilitator until 2008. She has led hundreds of church services in New Zealand and the UK. She has also led rest home services, family services, cafe style worship, house blessings and devotions in many other situations.

A wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and author now retired Rosalie has worked as a psychiatric nurse, teacher and motellier.

She has been active in Jaycees, the Methodist Women’s Fellowship, the Community of Women and Men in Church and Society, National Council of Women, the Churches’ Agency on Social Issues, Victim Support and U3A.

She continues an active role as a lay preacher leading one to three services every month in a variety of churches.

Rosalie Sugrue’s books available from us:

Sophia and Daughters Revisited: Reflections on Women of Biblical Connection

Rediscover these characters as spirited, wise women of passion and compassion. This easy-to-use book has strong feminist imagery and references focused on women of the Bible. Updated and expanded, it now provides reflections on Tamar, Dinah, Naomi, Michal, Vashti, Jephthah’s Daughter, Lenna Button, Susanna Wesley and Ann Turner to use in church during the sermon slot. Includes prayers & dialogues.  Click to order  Print or eBooks.

Lay Preaching Basics: A Practical Guide to Leading Worship

Do you want to learn how to preach and lead worship, but don’t know where to start? This practical guide by experienced Methodist Lay Preacher Rosalie Sugrue will get you going.

Click to order  Print or eBooks available.

Theme Scheme: Creative Ideas, Activities, Games, Puzzles, Quizzes
(Revised and expanded July 2018)

Theme Scheme offers you a wealth of creative ideas, activities, games, puzzles and quizzes to help plan, organise and lead your group’s programmes. All are fun and practical, requiring minimal equipment, resources and time to prepare. Click to order Print or eBooks. 


Ten Plays + : Short, easy dramas for churches
(Revised and expanded January 2021) 

Lay preacher Rosalie Sugrue’s short plays and meditations are ideal to present in church. They encourage us to engage with Bible and historical characters, and explore important themes. Staging is simple. Few props or costumes are required.

Click to order Print or eBooks.


The League of Lilith: A thriller with soul. Written with her son Troy Sugrue

Sarai, a Biblical Studies lecturer, learns a terrible truth; a core knowledge she must impart to a successor. Will she choose society wife, Jen, or bondage and discipline prostitute Kat? The lives of these two women collide in unexpected ways around Sarai, while in the wings lurk a coven of Wiccan witches, and the dark desires and dealings that threaten Jen’s husband, Wilkin. An explosive novel with a dramatic climax.  Click to order eBooks.

 Greens and Greys

Journey with Molly Sinclair through her 1950s childhood on the West Coast, her move to Christchurch for teacher training, drama-filled OE in the UK and Europe, and as she returns to New Zealand in the mid-1960s. This engaging coming-of-age tale sweeps us along as she meets unexpected joys and overcomes life’s setbacks.
Free group Study Guide available.

Click to order Print or eBooks.


 Green, Ho! 

Green, Ho! is an extended version of Greens and Greys that adds another dimension in the form of hidden disability.

Free group Study Guide available.

Click to order Print or eBooks.




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