DO WOMEN REALLY NEED A "GOD/ESS" TO SAVE THEM? AN INQUIRY INTO NOTIONS OF THE DIVINE FEMININE MARSHA AILEEN HEWITT The rise of women-focused spirituality presents several difficulties for feminisms concerned with the liberation of women. In this paper I look at several issues. In the first I focus upon theoretical problems that arise when replacing a female deity with a male deity, while in the second I focus upon both theoretical and methodo- logical concerns in the enterprise of locating a female based religious system. In order to do the latter, I explore a number of the epistomolgical implications found in the work of Luce Irigaray. 1. God or Godless: What is at stake? Several years ago, the well-known feminist Rosemary Radford Ruether (1981: 45) posed the question as to whether a male savior could really save women. Although the question is primarily theologi- cal it nonetheless bears implications for a feminist critical approach to the study of religion, as will become apparent later in this essay. Feminist Christian theologians, for more than three decades, have been actively engaged in a variety of reconstructive projects the aim of which, in many respects, is twofold: to secure an
Method & Theory in the Study of Religion – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1998
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