Vale 22 October 1958 – 3 August 2022
We are very sad to share the news of the death of our dear colleague and sister in Christ, Isabel Moyra Dale. Isabel’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ during her illness has been a shining beacon of hope to all those who have journeyed alongside her for the last six years. For those who pray, please remember her husband Lauren and children Tarek and Miriam before God’s throne of grace.
Isabel and her family served with CMS in the Middle East for over two decades. During those years, Isabel completed two unique ethnographic research projects exploring the lives and experiences of Muslim women. Her outstanding scholarship in the area of Women in Islam was rooted in the deep and trusting relationships that she built. The fruit of her work has been seen not only in the academic journal articles and books that she has published, but especially in the lives of those she taught and mentored. Isabel cofounded the When Women Speak network and played an important role in the establishment of the Angelina Noble Centre, ministries that were especially dear to her.
Lauren and Isabel returned to Melbourne in 2007 and joined the staff team at CMS’s training college, St Andrew’s Hall. Isabel has equipped a generation of gospel workers to love and appreciate the people and cultures in which they serve.
Isabel combined her incisive intelligence and passionate communication with a deep love for the Lord Jesus and those she taught. She poured out her life to equip many women to serve in gospel ministry around the world, especially in Islamic contexts. The Angelina Noble Centre, When Women Speak and CMS have been especially blessed by Isabel’s ministry; she also taught extensively at SMBC, MST and Ridley College, as well as at Columbia International University in the US.
We give great thanks to God for Isabel’s life, confident that she is now with her Father in heaven.
Research and teaching
In over two decades in the Middle East, Moyra was involved in teacher–training for adult literacy (Arabic) for a decade and a half. Her PhD explored the gaps between what happened in the classroom and curriculum, and literacy practices in women’s everyday lives. As part of her DTh she completed ethnographic research in a women’s mosque programme in the Middle East. In her final years, she was involved in educating people for cross-cultural ministry, with a focus on cultural anthropology and Islam. She taught in a number of Bible colleges in Australia, the US and Asia.
Islam, Muslim women, women’s issues across religions and cultures, how the Bible and cultural anthropology help to re-read each other.