Feminist Theology And The Challenge Of Difference

Hardcover | July 20, 2007

byMargaret D. Kamitsuka

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In the early years of contesting patriarchy in the academy and religious institutions, feminist theology often presented itself as a unified front, a sisterhood. The term "feminist theology," however, is misleading. It suggests a singular feminist purpose driven by a unified female culturalidentity that struggles as a cohesive whole against patriarchal dominance. Upon closer inspection, the voice of feminist theology is in fact a chorus of diverging perspectives, each informed by a variety of individual and communal experiences, and an embattled scholarly field, marked by the effectsof privilege and power imbalances. This complexity raises an important question: How can feminist theologians respect the irreducible diversity of women's experiences and unmask entrenched forms of privilege in feminist theological discourse? In Feminist Theology and the Challenge of Difference, Margaret D. Kamitsuka urges the feminist theological community to examine critically its most deeply held commitments, assumptions, and goals-especially those of feminist theologians writing from positions of privilege as white or heterosexualwomen. Focusing on women's experience as portrayed in literature, biblical narrative, and ethnographic writing, Kamitsuka examines the assumptions of feminist theology regarding race and sexuality. She proposes theoretical tools that feminist theologians can employ to identify and hopefully avoidthe imposition of racial or sexual hegemony, thus providing invaluable complexity to the movement's identity, and ultimately contributing to current and future Christian theological issues. Blending poststructuralist and postcolonial theoretical resources with feminist and queer concerns, Feminist Theology and the Challenge of Difference makes constructive theological proposals, ranging from sin to christology. The text calls feminist theologians to a more rigorous self-criticalapproach as they continue to shape the changing face of Christian theological discourse.

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In the early years of contesting patriarchy in the academy and religious institutions, feminist theology often presented itself as a unified front, a sisterhood. The term "feminist theology," however, is misleading. It suggests a singular feminist purpose driven by a unified female culturalidentity that struggles as a cohesive whole a...

Margaret D. Kamitsuka is an Associate Professor of Religion at Oberlin College.

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Kobo ebook|Jan 19 2010

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 0.91 inPublished:July 20, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195311620

ISBN - 13:9780195311624

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Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to the Challenge of Difference2. Critical Issues in Retrieving Women's Experience3. Reinterpreting Sex, Sin, and Desire4. Theorizing Power5. Negotiating with a Disciplinary Tradition6. Rethinking Solidarity

Editorial Reviews

Margaret Kamitsuka makes methodologically central the challenge of difference for (white) feminist theology, which first claimed to speak for all women. Her book takes with utter seriousness the ongoing function of privilege, particularly that of race and heterosexuality, and traces itsvarious continual and subtle reemergence even in theologies with the best of "inclusionary" intentions. This is a wonderfully impressive and wide-ranging coverage of dialogues over difference with a fascinating constructive proposal." ---Mary McClintock Fulkerson, author of Changing the Subject:Women's Discourses and Feminist Theology