This article suggests that second-wave feministtheology between around 1968 and 1995 undertook the quintessentially religious and task of theology, which is to break its own idols. Idoloclasm was the dynamic of Jewish and Christian feminist theological reformism and the means by which to clear a way back into its own tradition. Idoloclasm brought together an inter-religious coalition of feminists who believed that idolatry is not one of the pitfalls of patriarchy but its symptom and cause, (...) not a subspecies of sin but the primary sin of alienated relationship. The first moment of feministtheology’s criticism of patriarchal power is not that it is socially unjust, but that it has licence to be unjust because it is idolatrous. Yet, neither opponents of feministtheology who dismiss it on the grounds that it is a secular import into the tradition, nor feminist students of theology and religion, have paid sufficient attention to feministtheology’s counter-idolatrous turn as the religious ground of women’s liberation. Here, the freedom and becoming of women is dependent on the liberation of the religious imagination from captivity to a trinity of idols: the patriarchal god called God who is no more than an inference from the political dispensation that created him; the idol of the masculine that created God in his own image and the idol of the feminine worshipped as an ideational object of desire only as the subordinated complement of the masculine and as a false image that becomes a substitute for the real, finite women whose agency and will it supplants. (shrink)
KOINONIA/ASETT MINGA/MUTIRÃO DE REVISTAS DE TEOLOGIA LATINO-AMERICANAS Teología feminista latinoamericana de la liberación: balance y futuro (Latin American feministtheology of liberation: balance and future).
It is hard to over-estimate the challenge that feminism poses to Roman Catholicism. Pope John Paul II's call for a 'new feminism' has led to the development of a Catholic theological response to the so-called 'old feminism'. _The New Catholic Feminism _sets up a dramatic encounter between the orthodox Catholic establishment and contemporary critical theory, including feministtheology and philosophy, queer theory, and French psycholinguistics, in order to explore fundamental questions about human identity, personhood and gender. From the (...) naked bodies of Eden to the 'gay nuptials' of liturgy, it argues that the strange and volatile world of Catholic sexual symbolism cannot be 'tamed' to meet the ideological agendas of either feministtheology or conservative Catholicism. Only through a radical re-evaluation of the sacramental significance of the sexed human body might the Catholic Church provide a redemptive response to the sexual politics of contemporary society. (shrink)
'This is an unusually ambitious book... a considerable achievement. It raises important issues, and affords many valuable insights in the course of its historical reflections.' -Maurice Wiles, Journal of Theological Studies 'Every issue and thinker is expounded clearly and concisely, with attention always drawn to strengths as well as weaknesses. To this non-specialist the argument was always accessible and regularly persuasive.' -The Expository TimesCanon and Criterion in Christian Theology provides an original and important narrative on the significance of canon (...) in the Christian tradition. Abraham shows that the move to treat canon as a criterion of truth has had unsuspecting consequences for the history of theology and philosophy, from the Fathers to modern feministtheology. (shrink)
So-called ‘new materialism’ enables feminist theorists to emphasize the agential quality of matter, thereby challenging the notion that matter, particularly the biological body, is passive and inert – a notion that is gendered given the traditional association of passive matter with the feminine. While appreciating the materialist turn increasingly evident in feminist theory, Claire Colebrook warns feminist thinkers against an uncritical appeal to the vitalist tradition, which continues to privilege action, creativity and productivity over that materiality which (...) remains unactualized potential. After outlining the new materialist re-conception of matter, this paper considers the idea of a ‘passive vitalism’, which Colebrook develops in light of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's co-authored works. This paper shares Colebrook's contention that the new materialist emphasis on the agency of matter simply extends the model of the human person to the rest of nature. However, the final part of this paper begins to indicate how a theological materialism is able to affirm both the agency and patiency of matter in ways that challenge the view that the avowal of divine transcendence is inevitably opposed to the integrity of material immanence. (shrink)
Mythical configurations of a personal deity and a dominant sexual identity are part of our western history. In particular, the religious myths of patriarchy have privileged a male God and devalued female desire - and, with her desire, sexual difference. There can be no facile way beyond these myths. Instead the proposal here is for feminist theologians to attempt new configurations of old myths and disruptive refigurations, i.e. transformative mimesis, of biased beliefs. Myth and mimesis can enable expression of (...) multiple identities. Only identities-in-process preserve the possibility for a peaceful revolution of our desires and our differences, religious and sexual. (shrink)
Reviewing "The Ethics of Gender, Feminism and Christian Ethics," and "The Cambridge Companion to FeministTheology," the author suggests that Susan Parsons responds to questions postmodernism has posed to both feminism and Christian ethics by using insights gained from various accounts of the moral subject found in feminist philosophy, ethics, and theology. Hesitant to embrace postmodernism's critique of the possibility of ethics, Parsons redefines ethics by establishing a moral point of view within discursive communities. Yet in (...) her brief treatment of Emmanuel Levinas, Parsons does not explore the postmodern option he offers feminists: an understanding of moral responsibility that can be critical of ethics. Parsons also ignores some feminist perspectives in the physical and natural sciences, thereby missing valuable insights of feminists who insist upon the materiality of the body. (shrink)
The question is not whether women should enjoy equal status but how that God-given freedom is to be gained-or perhaps better, regained-in a Christian community that needs to be faithful to the liberating message proclaimed by and in Jesus Christ.
Feminist research in ethics : an introduction -- Theology in fragmented time : reflections with the concept 'postmodernism' as a starting point -- On the material spirituality of housework and its political implications -- Neither trivial nor sentimental : de-trivialization as a method in women's studies -- Power that we have; power that we need -- Women's solidarity : a value with a future -- Androcentrism and where do we go from here? : perspectives for theological reflection on (...) 'the human being' -- The minor distinction between mothers and test tubes : on the concept of women in science -- Feminist ethics and the ecology question -- The debate on animal experiments -- Biotechnology and ethics -- Invitation to feminist reflection on the economy -- Femaleness as social work -- From the norm of marriage to a plurality of lifestyles. (shrink)
Analytic theologians have ironically experienced difficulties in precisely defining the meaning of ‘analytic’ with respect to their style of theology. In this article, I turn to the history of a similar research project, analytic feminism, to see how it went about defining ‘analytic’ in relation to the typically non-analytic subject area of feminist studies. I then consider two commonly referred to attempts to define analytic theology, one methodological and the other socio-historical, and discuss shortcomings of each. I (...) close with a new definition of analytic theology that aims to incorporate all the insights in the discussions which precede it. (shrink)
Recent writing in feminist ethics, both secular and religious, is moving beyond a moral dualism between an ethic of care and an ethic of justice, with wide-ranging implications for the most fundamental assumptions of moral life. In reviewing the pertinent literature, this essay aims to clarify an emerging vision of self and community indicated by this new direction in feminist ethics.