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Feminist Theology Must God Be Male?
Feminist Theology • Feminist theology, as a theology of liberation, is concerned about exposing this false universalism [the idea that the masculine experience applies to everyone] and reinterpreting the experiences of women. • Valerie Saiving Goldstein from Jacquelyn Grant • "Feminism is a social vision, rooted in women's experience of sexually based discrimination and oppression, a movement seeking the liberation of women from all forms of sexism, and an academic method of analysis being used in virtually every discipline." • Anne M. Clifford
Types of Feminist Theology • There are three basic types of feminist theologies: • Revolutionary Feminist Theology • Reformist Feminist Theology • Reconstructionist Feminist Theology
First wave of feminism – developed in 19th century. In the US the first major event was the Women’s Rights Convention in 1848 in Seneca Falls, NY. It continued on until 1920 when women gained the right to vote. First Wave of Feminists Firs wave of feminist in Europe; http://pers-www.wlv.ac.uk/~le1810/41.jpg Women’s Rights Convention; http://nmaa-ryder.si.edu/1001/2001/07/images/1994.91.231_1b.jpg
Second wave of feminism – It is traced to the adoption of the United Nations of the charter to eliminate discrimination against women in 1967. Second Wave of Feminists http://www.hrweb.org/legal/unlogo.gif http://people.bu.edu/wwildman/WeirdWildWeb/media/galleries/theology/theologians/Daly_Mary_01.jpg
Third wave of feminism – This movement is traced to the “International Women’s Year” which “launched” the UN Decade of Women. It also became clear that women in different parts of the world experience discrimination differently (womanist, mujerista, etc) Third Wave of Feminists
Feminist Theologies Explained • Revolutionary Feminist Theology • Wants to totally revolutionize Christian theology; it advocates worship of Goddess and woman centered culture among other things. A male centered God is problematic and Christianity is irredeemable. • Reformist Feminist Theology • Advocates modest changes in the current church structure, usually believes in the more traditional aspects of Christian theology but oppose gender bias and unequal power. • Reconstructionist Feminist Theology • Recognizes that the church must undergo a thorough change beyond merely sharing power with men and at the same time maintain Christian traditions.
Christian Feminist Reconstructionists Main Points
The Self • 1. Conscientization • This term is used especially in mujerista or "latina." In feminist theology one validates ones experiences. The experiences of women have been negated or downplayed by the patriarchal structure. To this end one is also sensitive to the experiences of others that are different from one's own. is. Patriarchy and androcentrism (male centered description) are sins. When people suffer because of their race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, status, sexual orientation it is sin. Therefore, social location is very important.
The Interpretation • 2. Hermeneutics • The Bible is interpreted in light of whether or not it liberates women and men. If the text does not liberate then "it either must not be true or has been misinterpreted." The hermeneutics (interpretation) of the Bible and church practices are "detecting" patriarchal and androgynous tendencies. Therefore, one looks at language, depictions of women and men, parables, etc. in light of women's liberation from oppression and to the end of empowering women.
The Practice • 3. Praxis • This theology is rooted in praxis. One needs to work at liberating women. One must take concrete steps to eradicate the oppressive structures. One works in the church and in society. " . . . Christian feminist theologies take up the love command of Jesus, recognizing that actively loving one's neighbors, especially those most in need, cannot separate them from the love of God . . . "
Womanist Theology Ain’t I a Woman
A womanist is sometimes referred to as a Black feminist. Womanist theology is rooted in the experience of Black women who have had triple oppression (race, gender, class). The term “womanist” was coined by Alice Walker in her book In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens Womanist Theology Defined http://www.pacifica.org/programs/cimages/walker.jpg