Feminism and religion


Rosemary Radford Reuther

  • She says we are to view God as being outside of the parameters of gender 
  • there is a view that men are more authentically human than women, this view can be found in the bible and in philosophy
  • androcentrism is the term for this: focused or centred on men in culture and history 
  • the fall in genesis 3:16 shows women in a negative light as the fall is the fault of eve and not Adam 
  • Aristotle also calls women 'misbegotten males' that should be ruled by men who posses reason
  • augustine and Aristotle believed that the male hierarchy is everything to do with god's plan 
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RRR’s argument

What is male and what is female?

  • They both have different reproductive roles 
  • our nature is androgynous meaning masculinity and feminity come from culture 

Mary and Eve

  • Mary is presented as a role model for women because she is obedient and passive whereas eve sin because she is rebellious and disobedient 
  • having mary as a role model is problematic because this encourages women to be easily manipulated by men 

marginalised forms of Christianity 

  • some marginalised forms of Christianity are till relevant to fem theology today, such as montaism which believes the Holy Spirit is given to both men an women 
  • quakers also wrote ofGod with female qualities and some include women as leaders 
  • the shakers promoted the view that both male and female was created in gods image 
  • however, not all indications have seen sexism in Christianity 
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RRR’s argument 2

The prophetic tradition 

  • feminist theology is part of the prophetic tradition in the bible as God defended the oppressed such as women and the religious ideology maintains justice 
  • jesus is part of this tradition as he gave women places of power, such as Mary M
  • because of this Reuther says we must reclaim the view of jesus in 'maleness'

problems and solutions 

  • romanticism acts as a social salvation to embrace female qualities but it leaves women trapped in romantic egoism 
  • liberalism gives women the chance to enter education that is dominated by men but women would hire lower class women and exploit them
  • Marxism allows women to enter work alongside men but women are then expected to work at home aswell  
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Mary Daly

  • She says the goal for human life is to all be free to engage in A journey of growth with the use of verbs
  • In reality women have been treated as objects and viewed as nouns 

God is not a noun

  • She says the static view of god has helped women turn into objects in theology 
  • traditional theology views god as timeless, static, creating an ruling 
  • the three versions of a noun-god are: an explanation, otherworldly, judge of sin 
  • she says this noun-god must be dethroned and we should follow jesus as he is the role model for all Christianity 

god is a verb

  • we should see god as a verb because he is the force that helps us to fulfil 
  • female language t describe god is insufficient becuse it perpetuates the idea of god as a noun (critiquing Sallie Mcfague)
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Mary Daly 2

The unholy trinity 

  • she says treating women as objects is at the heart of all violence 
  • she turns the holy trinity into an unholy trinity with ****, genocide and war as she says this turns oppression into a means to increase our pleasure or decrease our pain 
  • she says **** reinforces the need for male protection, genocide creates objectification and war creates masculine dominance 

the need for sisterhood 

  • The church is too bound to patriarchy to ever become a place where women can find comfort 
  • women should become 'anti-church' and leave the church to create ew communities 
  • sisterhood allows us to find relationships with other women to oppose the lovelessness of sexually hierarchical society
  • in conclusion, women should leave the church in pursuit of liberation 
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  • ordination is done a a gathering in a church where people lay hands on the one to be ordained and bring the Holy Spirit unto them, in 1994, women were ordained for the first time 
  • in the early church we can see women in leadership positions such as Mary M to be the first to see Jesus and were considered apostles 
  • there are many reasons why women hold not be part of the ministry such as: god came down and incarnated as male, scripture forbids it and Christ appointed men as apostles 
  • these are some good arguments why women should be ordained; jesus didnt restive his message to men, women were ordained in the early church, many passages talk of inclusive ministry 
  • most churches do not ordain women and pope Francis onfirmed that he wouldnt break the tradition 
  • there are problems for women to face when they are ordained such as, maternity pay, women find it hard to move up the system and there is a growing proportion of unpaid female clergy 
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