The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology

The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology

The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology

The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology

Synopsis

This book is a critical guide to the scholarly exploration of feminist theology. It describes the main features of this modern theological development and examines its major concerns and questions. It presents comprehensive and critical analyses of the essential matters of Christian doctrine written by contributors knowledgeable in feminist theology. The book presents a challenge for future scholarship, since it critically engages with the assumptions of feminist theology, and seeks to open ways for women after feminism to enter into the vocation of theology.

Excerpt

Amongst the more energetic and enthusiastic forms of theology that emerged during the latter half of the twentieth century, feminist theology took up its place to become one of the prominent ways in which women have found theological voice and have allowed the wisdom of faith to be rooted in their lives. While its provenance is located in the Western Christian tradition, its bearing formed by the philosophical assumptions and political ideals of the Enlightenment, feminist theology has become something of a common discourse entered into by women of other faith and intellectual inheritance. Its now universal vocabulary of the rights of women, of the dignity and value of women's lives, of the urgency for their economic and social liberation, and of the prospect for human fulfilment within creation, has become one of the primary means both of communication between women, and of assertion of their status in global politics and in the church. Feminist theology has thus grown up with modernity, and so likewise extends itself as a network of interconnected relationships that are to be ever more inclusive of diversities and adaptable to changing circumstances. Its special attentiveness to women's experiences, its reaching out to touch and to raise up women amid the daily business of life, its concern for the paths that women must walk, are characteristic features in which are expressed the desire of women to be faithful witnesses to the truth of the Gospel that sets us free, and signs of hope in the blessedness that is yet to come.

Feminist theology has developed, particularly since the 19705, as a special field of inquiry within departments of theology and religious studies. With greater numbers of women entering higher education and preparing for a variety of ministries within the Christian churches at that time, it is not surprising that traditional disciplines of all kinds were being reshaped according to the new questions and concerns that then appeared. These were critical of the sources and methods employed among the various specialisms of theology, as they were also constructive in bringing insights from the experience and wisdom of women to bear on some of the major issues . . .

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