Feminist theories of religion

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How do many feminists regard religion?
As a patriarchal (male-dominated) institution that legitimates and perpetuates this inequality.
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How do many feminists believe that religious belief functions?
As a patriarchal ideology that legitimates female subordination.
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There is a lot of evidence of...
..patriarchy in religion.
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Name places in a religion where patriarchy might be found:
Religious organisations/ places of worship/ sacred texts/ religious laws and customs.
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For example: Juadism and Catholicism forbid...
...women to become priests.
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What did Amstrong argue?
Women's exclusion from the priesthood is evidence of their marginalisation.
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What 3 things may prevent uniquely women from participating in worship due to taboos?
1. Menstruation 2. Pregnancy 3. Child birth.
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What did Holm argue?
The fact that menstruating women are not allowed to touch the Quar'an is proof for the devaluation of women in contemporary religion.
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However, feminists argue that women have not always...
...been subordinate to men within religion.
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Who argued that early religions often placed women at the centre?
Armstrong.
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For example:
fertility cults/ earth mother goddesses/ female priests were foudn throughout the middle east until about 6,000 years ago.
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How were women marginalised in religion?
The rise of monotheistic religions with all powerful, male Gods.
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For example:
The Hebrews' Jehovah.
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However, although religion may be used to oppress women...
...it may not be the direct cause of their subordination.
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Name a sociologist who argues in favour of this view:
Saadawi.
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This is a result of ...
..patriarchal forms of society coming into existence in the law few thousand years.
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Therefore, once in existince, patriarchy began to influence and...
...reshape religion.
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Therefore, like Armstrong, Saadawi .sees the rise of monotheism as legitimating...
...the power of men over women.
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Who criticises feminist explanations that simply equate religion with patriarchy and the oppression of women?
Woodhead.
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Whist accepting that much traditional religion is patriarchal, she emphasises that...
...this is not necessarily true for all of religion.
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She argues that there are religous forms of...
...feminism.
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What are 'religious forms of feminism?'
Ways in which women use religion to gain greater respect and freedom.
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Whilst many Western Feminism tend to see the hijab as a symbol of oppression...
...Woodhead argues that women choose to wear the hijab to escape the confines of the home to enter education and employment.
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Therefore, the hijab is a symbol of liberation that enables them to enter the public sphere without..
..losing their culture or history.
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Women also use religion to gain...
...status and respect for thir roles within the private sphere of the home and family.
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For example: Belonging to an evangelic group can be...
...empowering for some women.
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Despite the deeply ingrained gender roles, women are able to..
...use religion to increase their power and influence.
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A strongly held belief among Evangelicals is that men should...
...respect women.
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We can also note that the position of women...
...within some religions is changing.
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For example:
A fifth of all priests are actually female.
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Card 2

Front

How do many feminists believe that religious belief functions?

Back

As a patriarchal ideology that legitimates female subordination.

Card 3

Front

There is a lot of evidence of...

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Name places in a religion where patriarchy might be found:

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

For example: Juadism and Catholicism forbid...

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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