Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Horizons in Feminist Theology: Identity, Tradition, and Norms

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Horizons in Feminist Theology: Identity, Tradition, and Norms

Article excerpt

Horizons in Feminist Theology: Identity, Tradition, and Norms. Edited by Rebecca S. Chopp and Sheila Greeve Davaney. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997. viii + 264 pp. $18.00 (paper).

Feminist theology is coming of age. This collection of essays is an encouraging witness to the fact that feminist theologians have begun to develop an increasing interest in critically responding to a variety of developments in the area of women's studies and feminist theory. The methodological debates among feminist theologians have moved from issues of gender, praxis, experience and diversity to those discussed at the conference which gave birth to this exciting collection: the quest for subjectivity and the self, for criteria and norms and for traditions and historicity.

Liberal feminist theory has so far neglected or ignored the significance of religion in understanding it as a means of patriarchal oppression rather than a space which creates meaning for women and in which women create meaning for themselves and for each other. Feminist theologians can no longer merely be understood as providing a critical and at times subversive yet also marginal presence within theology, but as paving in a unique manner the way towards a genuine interdisciplinarity and dialogue with other feminist scholars. An example of this is Linell Elizabeth Cady's proposal of a thoroughly historicist approach to theology and the communities and traditions in which it is written. Most of the articles in this book are not easy to read and presuppose a certain amount of knowledge of feminist theory and its terminology. Mary, McClintock Fulkerson's poststructuralist critique of feminist theology challenged its implicit liberal presuppositions and its potential irrelevance for women whose discourses of faith do not fit the ideals set out by the universalist assumptions of liberal, white, middle class, academic feminist theologians. …

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