Liberation Theologies in the United States: An Introduction

By Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas; Anthony B. Pinn | Go to book overview

6

Asian American Feminist Theology

ANDREW SUNG PARK


Historical Backdrop

Asian American women’s theology is nascent and emerges in the aftermath of Christianity’s involvement in colonialism, which altered the spirit of Asian American women in many ways. This political and cultural configuration made these women deny their own traditions and regard their multireligious traditions and wisdom as demonic. It also devalued their physical appearance and forced them to accept Western notions of “beauty” as superior. Hence, Asian cultural resources have often been written with the gaze of colonialism, “orientalism,” and racism.1

Maxine Hong Kingston’s story “No Name Woman” in her book The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts illustrates how quickly a woman’s life and existence can be eliminated from our memory and consciousness. The narrator tells the story of her aunt, who committed suicide after giving birth to a girl, conceived not with her husband who was away at Gold Mountain but with another man. This aunt, this “no name woman,” like all other “no name women,” existed on the margins of a patriarchal Asian culture that held that “it was better to raise geese than girls.” Even in death she was punished by being deliberately forgotten, unconnected to the living—the descent line—and became a “wandering ghost,” who was “always hungry, always needing,” begging or stealing food from other ghosts, who had living kin to give them gifts of food and money. This no name woman was expunged from the family record, “as if she had never been born,” and even her name was erased from memory, like all the countless other no name women who fail to appear in the pages of history books “as if they had never been born.” Her illegitimate child, who died with her, could not have been included within the circle of kin, because she posed a severe critique of male dominance, having been conceived out of either rape or defiance of “female chastity.”2 This story is a reminder of a recurring event within a patriarchal society as women’s actions are interpreted by men and, in turn, their con-

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Liberation Theologies in the United States: An Introduction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: Black Theology 15
  • 2: Womanist Theology 37
  • 3: Latina Theology 61
  • 4: Hispanic/Latino(A) Theology 86
  • 5: Asian American Theology 115
  • 6: Asian American Feminist Theology 131
  • 7: Native Feminist Theology 149
  • 8: American Indian Theology 168
  • 9: Gay and Lesbian Theologies 181
  • 10: Feminist Theology 209
  • Contributors 227
  • Index 231
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