Rita M. Gross' Feminism and Religion

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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). The anthology Her Voice, Her Faith: Women Speak on World Religions (Arvind Sharma and Katherine K. Young, Editors) is a glowing example of the type of religious scholarship Gross, and others like her, fought so tenaciously to bring into being. In the introduction to Her Voice, Her Faith, Young expresses a desire akin to Gross’: When both the male and female voice become of equal strength… we may begin to see for the first time three-dimensional religious worlds — fully of the two genders (and multiple cultures) but also of the human dimension that transcends their particulars… This goal, of stereophonic sound, I hope, will inform the religious voices of the future (Sharma 9). Sharma and Young deftly assembled the... ... middle of paper ... ...of the “stereophonic sound” Young, Gross and other feminists yearn to hear, “informing the religious voices of the future” (Sharma 9). Bibliography Gross, Rita M. Feminism and Religion. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996. Heschel, Susannah. “Judaism.” Her Voice, Her Faith: Women Speak on World Religions. Ed. Arvind Sharma and Katherine K. Young. Boulder: Westview Press, 2003. 145-167. Narayanan, Vasudha. “Hinduism.” Her Voice, Her Faith: Women Speak on World Religions. Ed. Arvind Sharma and Katherine K. Young. Boulder: Westview Press, 2003. 11-57. Sharma, Arvind and Katherine K. Young, Ed. Her Voice, Her Faith: Women Speak on World Religions. Boulder: Westview Press, 2003. Wong, Eva. “Taoism.” Her Voice, Her Faith: Women Speak on World Religions. Ed. Arvind Sharma and Katherine K. Young. Boulder: Westview Press, 2003. 119-143.

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