Feminist Reconstruction of Christian Doctrine: Narrative Analysis and Appraisal

Feminist Reconstruction of Christian Doctrine: Narrative Analysis and Appraisal

Feminist Reconstruction of Christian Doctrine: Narrative Analysis and Appraisal

Feminist Reconstruction of Christian Doctrine: Narrative Analysis and Appraisal

Synopsis

What is the relationship between feminist theology and classical Christian theology? Is feminist theology "Christian," and if so, in what respect and to what extent? This study seeks to analyze and evaluate the relation of feminist "reconstructions" to traditional Christian teaching. Greene-McCreight uses the extent to which the biblical depiction of God is allowed to guide theological hermeneutics as a test of orthodoxy. She looks at the writings of a wide range of contemporary feminist theologians, discusses their doctrinal patterns, and demonstrates how the Bible is used in undergirding their theological reconstructions.

Excerpt

In the previous chapter, we outlined the insights of narrative interpretation and theology. Since Christian and Lindbeck point out that governing doctrines are usually more important than primary doctrines, especially during times of conflict, we should look for the governing doctrines of feminist theologies. We therefore must look to the hermeneutical principles and rules which guide feminist biblical interpretation and theological reflection. This will require, first, looking into the intellectual families of origin from which feminist theology emerges. After this, we can examine the explicit and implicit commitments and principles of interpretation embraced by feminist theologians as they appear in second-order discussion about biblical interpretation. Then we can examine the implicit commitments as they are born out in the practice of biblical interpretation itself.

The two most obvious intellectual forebears of feminist theology are modern theology in general and, more specifically, the feminist movements in America and England. Feminist theology, combining as it does the concerns of modern theology with the sociopolitical concerns of the broader feminist movement, can be analyzed therefore as a subset of either of these two worlds of thought. This is sometimes cause for confusion and debate. the charge is sometimes raised from the side of Christian thinkers that feminist theologians are more committed to feminism than to Christian theology Conversely, non-Christian feminists sometimes claim that Christian feminist theologians' allegiance to the Christian tradition, with all its patriarchal underpinnings, renders their work untenable. However, both parents of feminist theology, the feminist movement and modern Christian thought, are so thoroughly grounded in the categories and presuppositions of the Enlightenment that these two parents are not in such dire conflict as such charges might lead us to believe. We will examine briefly . . .

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