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Feminist theology

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-K023-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 22, 2024, from

Article Summary

Feminist theology began as a reaction to the exclusion of women and women’s concerns from traditional Christian theology, but it soon incorporated constructive as well as critical elements. Originating ‘from the margins’ of women’s exclusion, it now is a major force within Christian theological thought. The issue it raised initially was the cultural and social suppositions that inform all theological thinking and that enter into theologies as ‘universals’. In response to such universals, a feminist ‘hermeneutic of suspicion’ seeks out the hidden norms and biases within religious texts.

Feminist theology is diverse, but it is characterized by pervasive themes. Immanence is valued over transcendence, relation over substance, change over immutability, liberation over salvation, and ecological concerns over traditional Christian eschatological concerns. As could be expected from its hermeneutic of suspicion, feminist theology is also characterized by its insistence on the social location of all thinking. Feminist theologians uniformly use gender-inclusive language not only in reference to humanity, but also in reference to God. Finally, all feminist theologians manifest a concern for liberation from every type of oppression, environmental as well as social, and not just liberation from the oppression women have experienced.

Citing this article:
Suchocki, Marjorie. Feminist theology, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-K023-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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