In her book Feminism and Religion, Rita M. Gross provides readers with an introduction to the need for, and benefits of, androgynous scholarship in the field of religious studies. Gross strives to make readers aware of the dangers of androcentric, Eurocentric scholarship. Moreover, she advances the claim that, “properly pursued, the field of religious studies involves study of all major religions found in human history” and an equal representation of both men’s and women’s religious experiences (Gross 1-4). Because androcentrism has permeated both religion and scholarship for the greater part of history, Gross strives to correct and augment this perspective with illuminating examples of what she deems “proper” religious scholarship – scholarship that includes the experiences of women. Ultimately, Gross believes that “feminist scholarship requires the study of the actual lives and thoughts of women” (Gross 81) and that “the diversity within feminist theology and spirituality is its strength” (Gross 49).
But while women were often condemned or essentialized through the interpretation of Biblical texts (not to mention the selection of those texts), these texts could also serve as a tool for social change. Ruether offers a message of hope for women looking to find a place within the Christian tradition by highlighting the fact that “the New Testament contains a renewal and radicalization of prophetic consciousness, now applied to marginalized groups in universal, non tribal contexts” (Ruether 156). Through Ruether’s analysis and primary texts throughout the history of Christianity, we see that the textual representations of women and interpretations of those texts serve as a vehicle of oppression by setting up dichotomies on women’s behavior, but that interpretation can also be used by women as a means of religious resistance. One of the women in the Christian Tradition that fought for social justice at the onset of the Jesus... ... middle of paper ... ...ures that control religion and spirituality, but instead on each other. Women must learn to reconcile their beliefs and critiques, all the while navigating the dichotomy of reformer/revolutionary Works Cited Cady Stanton, Elizabeth.
"God as mother." Weaving the visions: New patterns in feminist spirituality. Ed. Judith Plaskow and Carol P. Christ. San Francisco: HarperSan Francisco, 1989.
), proceeding to list in a footnote a number of other sources that have done so before her. A few sentences later, she states, "Considerable evidence indicts the Bible as a document of male supremacy." (Ibid.) But despite this damning testimony, Trible maintains a faith in the usefulness of the Bible--and specifically, chapters 2 and 3 of Genesis, on which she focuses--to females and supporters of the Women's Liberation Movement. "The more I participate in the Movement," she says, "the more I discover my freedom through the appropriation of Biblical symbols.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1970. Scholer, David M. Women in Early Christianity. New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1993. Williams, Stephen, and Gerard Friell, Editors. Theodosius the Empire at Bay.
Jesus Christ, being a reformer, should have improved the status of women with his message of love and acceptance. However, there is no denying that the stigma is carried with women into the present day. Women’s position in society can be greatly attributed to their depiction in religious text. Holy word is still a factor in making women more susceptible, more culpable, and more sinful an impure than men. Even as women move up in the social order, religion is timeless and ever bearing on the struggle women fight for sexual equality.
55-78. Lang, Amy Schrager. Prophetic Woman: Anne Hutchinson and the Problem of Dissent in the Literature of New England. California: University of California Press, 1987. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson.