Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm wondering if the topic of feminism is ever discussed or approached with critical, religious perspective within any Christian tradition.

share|improve this question
    
Christian feminism is definitely something that exists, in all sorts of flavours (feminist, womanist, mujerista, ...) with approaches that range from ultra-scholarly to from-the-trenches. Are you looking for a rundown of these specifically feminist movements? Or are you more interested in official statements from mainstream denominational authorities (eg: official Catholic teaching on feminism)? –  James T Jan 12 at 21:30
    
According to Catholic Church, woman is another ‘I' in a common humanity. From the very beginning they appear as a ‘unity of the two', and this signifies that the original solitude is overcome, the solitude in which man does not find ‘a helper fit for him' (Gn 2:20). Is it only a question here of a ‘helper' in activity, in ‘subduing the earth' (cf. Gn 1:28)? Certainly it is a matter of a life's companion with whom, as a wife, the man can unite himself, becoming with her ‘one flesh' and for this reason leaving ‘his father and his mother'(cf. Gn 2:24). –  Elberich Schneider Jan 12 at 21:45
    
... and, contrarily to what feminist rhetoric says, women preserve the deep intuition of the goodness in their lives of those actions which elicit life, and contribute to the growth and protection of the other, though. –  Elberich Schneider Jan 12 at 21:53
    
... but, alas, Y chromosome is degrading faster than the rest of the genome, though. –  Elberich Schneider Jan 12 at 22:00
    
... thus, like many species before us that have lost their males, we should expect a future without men; a future in which the feminst rethoric will be completely realized, anyway. –  Elberich Schneider Jan 12 at 22:06
show 2 more comments

1 Answer 1

Are there any Christian traditions that say anything about feminism? Under the old traditions women where held to a strict standard. Some could view these standards as a form of oppression. Jesus came to set free the oppressed. Feminism by definition is considered by Webster as "the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities". He has said "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?" (Isaiah 58:6)

I'm wondering if the topic of feminism is ever discussed or approached with critical, religious perspective within any Christian tradition. Yes it has. For example we can strive for equality, but specific situations may not be received equally. The giving of flowers for example, if a man gives flowers to his wife, this is a gift that is approved of, and if he gives flowers to another mans wife then this action has condemned him. Equally this was the same action. How the action was received however is of opposite values. Or think of the value of a woman giving her man flowers? Does he receive this gesture with the same value as the woman receives this gesture. For me no. I do not receive this gesture the same as the woman, so again an unbalance occurs.

These are special situations in the larger scope, so these specific situations where talked over and a standard way of handling things can be considered agreeable to both sides. Now making offerings are a display of love so a man should not ask for an offering from another mans wife when her husband is present (1 Cor 11:4). For the offering decided by the wife could cause jealousy or envy to her husband. And likewise a wife shouldn't ask another man for an offering when her husband is with her, for isn't that display of Love best to be reserved for the husband to display to his wife? Is it not better that she ask of her husband, then it be for him to ask? So that he is the one that presents it to her? (1 Cor 11:5). Therefore if the woman refuses her husband this glory she causes disgrace to herself (1 Cor 11:6). Also a man should not have his wife ask for the offering, for God finds Glory in offering to the man (1 Cor 11:7). Now we find that it is good for the woman to have the power of choice, since in the days of old the angels took advantage of the woman and had them as wives (Gen 6:4, 1 Cor 11:10). The needs of husband and the wife should be considered the same (1 Cor 11:11-12).

It is true that under the old law. That the husband was to rule over his wife (Genesis 3:16). Under the new covenant however, the least will be the greatest (Luke 9:48) negating the power of the authority given to man, for if in service grace is to be given, then the man and the woman serve each other in unity.

In the Gospel of Thomas it states:
"Jesus saw some little ones nursing. He said to his disciples, "These little ones who are nursing resemble is those who enter the kingdom." They said to him, "So shall we enter the kingdom by being little ones?" Jesus said to them, "When you (plur.) make the two one and make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside and the above like the below, and that you might make the male and the female be one and the same, so that the male might not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye and a hand in place of a hand and a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image - then you will enter [the kingdom]." (Gospel of Thomas Saying 22)

"Simon Peter said to them, "Mary should leave us, for females are not worthy of life." Jesus said, "See, I am going to attract her to make her male so that she too might become a living spirit that resembles you males. For every female (element) that makes itself male will enter the kingdom of heaven." (Gospel of Thomas Saying 114)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.