Feminism and Christian Tradition: An Annotated Bibliography and Critical Introduction to the Literature

Feminism and Christian Tradition: An Annotated Bibliography and Critical Introduction to the Literature

Feminism and Christian Tradition: An Annotated Bibliography and Critical Introduction to the Literature

Feminism and Christian Tradition: An Annotated Bibliography and Critical Introduction to the Literature

Synopsis

This annotated bibliography, a volume in the Greenwood series, Bibliographies and Indexes in Religious Studies, provides access to the numerous writings, from the 1960s through the 1990s, on feminism and Christian tradition. Major feminist theologians and sociologists are represented. As a guide to further research, this cross-disciplinary approach presents themes and issues in both a historical and a topical framework. An extensive overview of feminism in relation to the women's movement, women's studies, sociology and American religion introduces the literature and provides a historical context for the nearly one thousand entries that follow.

Cross-referenced throughout, the literature is presented in six thematic categories that include introductory and background materials, feminism and the development of feminist theology, topical literatures in feminist theology, feminism and womanist theology, religious leadership of women, and responses and recent developments. Separate author, subject, and title indexes complete the volume.

Excerpt

Had Jesus intended for women to be priests in his church, he
would have chosen his mother.

Daphne Hampson, Theology and Feminism

Feminism's central insight contends that not only do women not
shape and control their own lives, but that our most basic
understandings of human nature are drawn primarily from men's
experience.

Susannah Heschel, On Being a Jewish Feminist

To some degree these statements by Daphne Hampson and Susannah Heschel exemplify the two principal poles of Mary-Paula Walsh's present bibliographical study—feminist theology and feminist sociology, each informing and complementing the other in a uniquely creative synergy. It is high time that this cross-disciplinary approach be taken, for in the past three decades the contemporary women's movement, essentially a social and "political" phenomenon, has made a significant mark in the world of religion. Today, we think nothing of feminist investigations into the history of Christianity, and in many sectors of the Christian tradition feminism has forever transformed religious ritual, theology, leadership and institutional structures.

What a profound change this is from the situation of a few years ago. The JudaeoChristian tradition, we must remember, has been heavily influenced by a patriarchal system in which the feminist perspective has been read, at best, as a sub-text. This is not to say that the feminine role has been consistently under-represented in traditional theology. For example, the role of Mary within the Catholic tradition has stood as a constant reminder of caring, material love and nurturing qualities in life—all significant aspects of the Christian message. However, while these feminine qualities have been recognized within Christianity, this has not meant that the views, opinions, and sensitivities of women have been equally respected. Indeed, women's experiences within Christianity have been viewed as other than normative, as external factors that merely supplement the dominant male perspective, which is regarded as the norm. So women have been forced to accept a patriarchal view of religion—God as stern judge has not on the whole been balanced by God as the loving mother of creation. At the risk of introducing heresy into the debate, we have for centuries lost the dual nature of divinity, the male and the female acting in concert.

Today, however, patriarchy has lost its primacy, and we see now that women are gaining acceptance within theology, within the power structures of the church. The genuine position of . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.