Theories of Religion- FEMINISM

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  • Created by: Emily
  • Created on: 23-04-16 15:47
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  • Feminist theories of religion
    • Feminists see society as patriarchal - based on male domination
      • Religious Instittions are patriachal and reflect/ perpetuate gender inequality.
      • Religious beliefs are patriarchal ideologies that legitimate womens subordination.
    • Examples of patriarchy in religion
      • Religious organisations: are mainly male dominated e.g Catholicism forbid women from becoming priests.            Armstrong sees womens exclusion from the priesthoods of most religions as evidence of their     marginalisation
      • Sacred Texts: largely feature the doings of male Gods/prophets and often reflect anti female stereotypes. e.g Eve who caused the Fall of Man
      • Religious lawws and customs: often give women fewer rights than men. e.g in access to divorce, dress codes etc.        Many religions legitimate and regulate womens traditional domestic and reproductive role. e.g the Catholic Church bans abortion
    • Religious Feminism
      • Wood head argues that although much traditional religion is patriarchal, this isn't true of all religion. There are 'religious forms of feminism'- ways women use religion to gain greater freedom and respect.
      • While western feminists see the hijab worn by Muslim women as a symbol of oppression, to the wearer it may symbolise resistance to oppression: a symbol of liberation that enables her to enter the public sphere without losing her culture.
      • The position of women in some religions is changing. e.g since 1992, the C of E has admitted women to the priesthood; about 1/5th of its priests are now female.
  • Places of worship:           often segregate the sexes and marginalise women in acts of worship e.g not being able to read from sacred texts. Taboos that see menstruation, pregnancy etc as polluting may also prevent participation.


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