Women and Redemption: A Theological History

Women and Redemption: A Theological History

Women and Redemption: A Theological History

Women and Redemption: A Theological History

Synopsis

The first comprehensive analysis of how the patriarchal paradigm developed and its challenge by the feminist paradigm over twenty centuries of Christian history.

Excerpt

Are women redeemed by Christ? Central to Christianity is the claim that "in Christ there is no more male and female," but what does this mean in the Christian tradition? An equal opportunity for happiness with God in life after death? Liberation from sexist oppression in society? If women are equally redeemed by Christ, why has the Christian church continually reinforced sexism in society and in the church? These are some of the questions this study seeks to answer.

Answers to these questions have changed in Christian history. These changes are relative to the way women are defined in creation or "original nature" and in the "fall" or the consequences of sin. Were women created equal or subordinate in God's original intention for creation? Are women more, less, or equally culpable for sin? Are women the primary sinners or the primary ones who have been sinned against? Changing answers to these questions alter how redemption is defined in relation to women.

In this study of women and redemption I trace historically these changing paradigms of gender, male and female, in relation to the Christian claim of a universal and inclusive redemption in Christ. The story necessarily begins with Jesus, because "something happened" in his ministry that suggested to some early Christians that gender relations had been changed by redemption. This does not mean that there was some pristine moment when all women and men were equal and exercised an equal ministry in the earliest Christian church. But some women exercised leadership and prophetic teaching in . . .

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