Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

Table of Contents | Cover Page  |  Editors  |  Contributors  |  Introduction  |  Web Version

A theology grounded in the promotion of the full equality of women with men in church and society. As the second wave of feminism was introduced throughout the 1960s and 1970s in the Western world, women theologians began to incorporate their growing feminist consciousness into their religious practice and scholarship. Theologian Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza in But She Said: Feminist Practices of Biblical Interpretation (Beacon 1992), Bread Not Stone: The Challenge of Feminist Biblical Interpretation (Beacon 1984), and In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins (Crossroads 1985) as well as Rosemary Radford Ruether in Women-Church: Theology and Practice (Harper 1985), Womanguides: Readings Toward a Feminist Theology (Beacon 1985), and Sexism and God-Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology (Beacon 1983) were instrumental in creating, nurturing, and developing feminist theology.

In their recent sociological book Defecting in Place: Women Claiming Responsibility for Their Own Spiritual Lives (Crossroad 1994), Therese Winter, Adair Lummis, and Allison Stokes argue that most feminist and alienated women have not left the church but are "defecting in place," challenging the institution from within and supplementing their faith journey by contact with women's spirituality groups. At a very broad level, this is but one indication of the impact of feminist theology on contemporary religion.

Nancy Nason-Clark

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