Explorations in Feminist Theology
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
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Title Page, Copyright
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Needless to say, the publication of a book, like all intellectual work, always owes its existence to teamwork and much unrecognized labor. Hence, it is impor-tant to make visible the people who have greatly contributed to its final embodi-ment. While I take all responsibility for its content and appearance (except for the cover design, which is the result of the publisher’s decision), I want to thank all I am grateful to Michal Beth Dinkler, doctoral student in New Testament/...
Introduction: A Critical Feminist The*logy of Liberation: Reality and Vision
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Almost twenty years ago, I published Discipleship of Equals,1 which gathered together my work on feminist the*logy in the 1970s and 1980s. Like Disciple-ship of Equals so also the present volume circles around power, struggle, and vision as central topoi of my feminist the*logical work. This work is motivated by the For there is still a vision for its own appointed time, eager for its own Contemplating the command to “write down the vision,” I have decided to ...
Part I: Feminist Theory and Feminist The*logy
1: Religion, Gender, and Change
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In this chapter I discuss the encoding of gender discourses and their religious legitimizations. I argue that a critical academic analysis of gender need to remain rooted in the variegated social wo/men’s movements for change. Critical libera-tionist feminist studies in religion and Christian the*logy therefore may not only focus on a critical deconstructive gender2 analysis but may also seek to develop religious and spiritual resources and visions that empower wo/men in religion for ...
2: Feminist The*logy between Modernity and Postmodernity
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Modernity” and “Postmodernity” are ambiguous, shifting concepts that are often set over against each other as dichotomous.1 For example, it is not clear when modernity begins and when it ends, whereas postmodernity is said to have reached its high point in the 1980s, so that today one speaks of late postmoderni-ty.2 While the notion of the “modern” is characterized by sociopolitical develop-ments such as capitalism, industrialization, liberal democracy, colonialism, and ...
3: Method in Wo/men’s Studies in Religion
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To approach the topic of women’s studies and feminist hermeneutics, I must first explicate my own perspective and location, since feminist theory together with malestream1 hermeneutics has insisted that scholarship is not done from a disembodied value-neutral position or a “god’s eye view” but that it is always perspectival and sociopolitically situated. My own work therefore has sought to articulate feminist the*logy and feminist studies in religion not just as hermeneu-...
Part II: Feminist The*logyand Feminist Struggles
4: Domination Divides Us, Feminist Differences Make Us Strong
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Postmodern feminist theories have pointed out that the ways we situate our texts and choose our rhetorical strategies raise questions about power that need to be made clear again and again.1 In her poem, “Heroines,”2 the American poet Adrienne Rich drew attention to the place of feminist theory and the*logy defined by the divided heritage of the nineteenth-century white wo/men’s move-ment. She pointed out that this heritage is still important today, but speaks to us ...
5: Ties That Bind
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Domestic violence2 is at the heart of patri-kyriarchal relations of oppression. Violence against wo/men and their children remains all-pervasive. It is not limited to one specific class, geographical area, or type of persons. Rather it cuts across social differences and status lines: white and black, rich and poor, Asian and European, Hispanic and Anglo-Saxon, urban and rural, religious and secular, professional and illiterate, heterosexual and lesbian, able-bodied and dif-...
6: Christian Anti-Judaism
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The lively discussion about anti-Judaism in Christian feminist the*logy indi-cates how much even feminist scholarship and the*logy remain caught up in malestream kyriarchal thought patterns that unconsciously re-inscribe their exclusions and limitations, despite feminist scholars’ aim to disclose and combat them as oppressive. Therefore, it is necessary to look critically at our own theo-retical frameworks and methods of argumentation so that we do not unwittingly ...
Part III: Catholicism as a Site of Feminist Struggles
7: Public Discourse, Religion, and Wo/men’s Struggles for Justice
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Man enjoys the great advantage of having a god endorse the code he writes; and since man exercises a sovereign authority over women it is especially fortunate that this authority has been vested in him by the Supreme Being. For the Jews, Mohammedans, and Christians, among others, man is master of divine right: the fear of God, therefore will repress any impulse towards ...
8: Wo/men and the Catholicity of The*logy
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Karl Rahner has argued that the most important event of the Second Vatican Council was the manifestation of the world-church where for the first time bish-ops of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim acted together with the pope as equals when articulating and deciding the the*logy of the Council.1 Rah-ner rightly criticized the Eurocentrism of Roman Catholic the*logy2 and church Yet, one must not overlook that the Second Vatican Council’s representation of ...
9: An Open Letter to Miryam IV, Successor of Peter and Mary of Magdala
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When I was invited, by the editors of an Italian volume on the agenda of a new pope, to write an article on “Feminism and the Papacy in the Third Millennium,” I decided to delineate in the form of a fictive letter the issues and problems the newly elected successor of John Paul II would have to face. Tongue in cheek, I suggested that the new leader of Catholicism would be not only a woman but a feminist who chose ...
Part IV: Feminist The*logy
10: Mariology, Gender Ideology, and the Discipleship of Equals
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Mariology, or the teaching about Mary, has been of great interest to feminist the*logians, both Roman Catholic and Protestant.1 In this essay I seek to explore the hardships and difficulties of a feminist journey into the intellectual territory of hegemonic Mariology and I will do so using the the*logical notion of the discipleship of equals2 as a critical lens and frame of reference.3 What do I mean by discipleship of equals? Discipleship means to follow either a great leader ...
11: Monotheism and Kyriarchy
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In the last two decades there has been much discussion within the*logical schol-arship, especially German scholarship, about monotheism and its consequenc-es.1 The fronts are clearly drawn: either one is for monotheism or against it. Feminist the*logy, too, has hotly debated the topic of “patriarchal monotheism,” particularly in the 1980s and 1990s. It has critically questioned the masculinity and domination of the monotheistic Father-God and made the Goddess again ...
12: Toward a Feminist Wisdom Spirituality of Justice and Well-Being
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In the last decades spirituality has become a key topic not only in the*logy but also in commercialized forms of self-help groups and the New Age movements. Spirituality has become a big business. Leading companies everywhere are tun-ing into the power of spirituality as they look for conveying company goals and for inspiring their people to do their best in the global market place. In the process, spirituality has become a popular but also an enigmatic and vacillating ...
Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2011