- Feminist theories of religion
- Religion has not always been patriatchal.
- Early history shows women as central to spirituality.
- The increase of monotheistic (Judaism, Islam) replaced polytheistic religions which portrayed God as male.
- Sees women's exclusion from the priesthoods of most religions as evidence of their marginalisation.
- Sacred texts reflect anti-female stereotypes eg. Eve, and usually feature the doings of male gods.
- Simone de Beauvior
- Men usually control religious organisations and claim that their authority comes from God.
- Religion gives them false consciousness - suffering will be rewarded in heaven - to keep them in place.
- Deceives women into thinking they are equal to men =, when they are lesser.
- El Saadawi
- Women are sometimes seriously oppressed in Islamic states - she experienced female circumcision.
- Such practices are not the result of Islam but the male misinterpretation of the Qu'ran that distort the truth beliefs to justify the exploitation of women.
- Religion is infused with patriarchal ideology e.g. provides specific rules for females to follow.
- it's a sign of liberation that allows them to enter the public sphere without losing their culture and history.
- 'Religious forms of feminism' to gain greater freedom of respect eg. the hijab - western feminists see this as oppression but for the wearer it symbolises resistance to oppression.
- WOmen use religion to gain status and respect for the roles within the pr=ivate sphere of the home and family eg. belonging to an evangelical group can be empowering for some women.
- Women can use religion to increase their power and influence.
- Women's postition has changed within some religions eg. CofE has permitted woomen's ordination into priesthood
- Religious organisations are mainly male-dominated despite that women participate more than men.
- Places of worship segregate the sexes and marginalise women.
- Religious laws and customs may give women fewer rights than men.
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