How can we respect the irreducible diversity of women’s experiences and unmask entrenched forms of privilege in feminist theological discourse? This book offers proposals on how to address the challenge of difference for constructive theological purposes. Toward this end, the objective of this book is three-fold:
- to make the case for why ongoing attentiveness to differences of race and sexuality is needed in order to avoid the imposition of white racial privilege and heterosexual privilege;
- to make creative use of poststructuralism principally (Judith Butler, Michel Foucault), but also postcolonial, queer, and other theoretical resources in order to complicate our understanding of embodied selfhood, moral agency, and empowerment; and
- to make constructive proposals in light of those theories on methodological issues (e.g., appeals to women’s experience, to the erotic, or to women’s solidarity), on hermeneutical issues (e.g., white feminist uses of the literature of women of color or interpreting biblical texts that harbor patriarchal, imperialist, heteronormative, and other biases), and on doctrinal issues (e.g., sin, creation in the image of God, and christology).
New theoretical resources are indispensable for analyzing divisive issues in feminist theology today, and for carving out new avenues for critical negotiation with a religious tradition that feminists see as both alienating and sustaining, repressive and empowering.