Feminist Christology

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Male theologians had done almost all theology in the Christian tradition. Today women are waking up to their own dignity and finding their own voice. Some faith is now being reflected from the perspectives and experiences of women. This is commonly called Feminist Christology. There are many types of feminist Christology that can be divided into two categories. The revolutionary school of thought is produced by women who, upon examining the Christian tradition, find it so male-dominated that they pronounce it hopelessly irredeemable. The other category is of the reformist feminist theologians, who also find the Christian tradition male-dominated but find hope for it to be transformed. The reformist stay within the church and work for reform, while the revolutionists leave the church and form groups of prayer that emphasizes sisterhood. The majority of Catholic feminist theologians work with the liberation model in the sense that they seek the dismantling of patriarchy and equal justice especially for the dispossessed. Feminist liberation theology arises out of the recognition of the suffering of a particular oppressed group, in this case women. Consciousness of the ways women are perpetually relegated to second class citizenship in society and church, in contrast to women's essential human dignity, gives rise to outrage: this should not be; this is against the will of God. Reflection arises in groups actively engaged in praxis. The goal of this form of theologizing is not only to understand the meaning of faith tradition, but also to change it. The vision which guides feminist theology is that of a new human community based on the values of mutuality and reciprocity. The dream of a new heaven and a new earth takes hold here, with no one group dominating and no one group being subordinated. The three steps of the method of liberation theology-analyzing the situation, searching the tradition for what contributes to the oppression, and searching again for what liberates-yield a new appreciation of the meaning of Jesus Christ for human beings who are women. Feminist theologists say that sexism is pervasive, and like racism classifies human beings, prescribes certain roles and denies certain rights to them on the basis of physical characteristics. So, on the basis gender sexism considers women essentially less worthy than men and sets up powerful forces to keep women in their proper place. Sexism shows itself in two ways. The first is in structures which are so shaped that power is always in the hands of the dominant male; other males are ranked in a series of graded subordination, with the least powerful forming a large base. This structure is known as patriarchy. Secondly, in patterns of thinking that takes the humanity of male human beings and make it normative for all. Women are considered human not in their own right, but in a secondary way, in a way derivative from and dependent on the male. This thinking is called androcentrism. Almost all-historical theologians have thought in the androcentric manner. Thomas Acquinas was of the opinion that "woman is a misbegotten men", a physiological view which then determined his assessment of woman's essential nature. This is a view that is pervasive in the Catholic tradition, influencing not only theology but canon law and practice as well. In sexism with this thinking, women are excluded, marginalized, and rendered invisible in language and public life. Stereotyped as mindless, emotional, weak, they are prevented from assuming leadership roles. A UN statistics show, while forming one half of the world's population, women do three fourths of the world's work, receive one tenth of the world's salary, and own one hundredth of the world's land. Within these kinds of experiences, women's own self image comes in for a great battering, there is widespread lack of self-esteem and self-confidence that has been documented even among very...
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