Feminism and Christianity
An Essential Guide
Some have raised the question: Is it possible, at the same time, to be a Christian and a feminist? Japinga asks the question a bit differently: Is it possible not to be?
Like the other titles in the Essential Guides series, the purpose of this book is simple: to introduce college and seminary students to the basic questions and issues that arise from a feminist interpretation of Christianity. The author explores the central ideas of Christian feminism, including its critique of patriarchy in Christianity and its recovery of the presence, actions, and ideas of women. What has been troublesome in Christianity for feminists and why? How have Christian feminists dealt with these issues? What resources are there in Christianity for the empowering and encouragement of women?
Beginning with an examination of women and the Bible, the book explores biblical texts which define women negatively as well as those which emphasize women's strengths and ability, and then outlines the various feminist approaches to the interpretation of Scripture. It then moves to an overview of women in the history of Christianity and, specifically, of religion in America, presenting both prevailing attitudes about women and the (usually unheard) stories of women. After surveying the main questions a feminist method brings to the study of theology, Japinga then explores certain theological questions--How do we speak of God? Who is Christ? What does it mean to be human?
Written from a moderate feminist perspective, this book provides a broad overview of feminist approaches to theological disciplines. It emphasizes consensual scholarship rather than points of controversy. It acquaints students with feminist analysis by way of the central themes common to feminist approaches to several disciplines and introduces readers to this material in ways that lessen the possibility that they will be threatened, intimidated, or angered by it. While the book offers professors an affordable and accessible textbook choice, it is also accessible for lay study groups in congregations.