Critical Theory Of Religion

Overview

Marsha Hewitt tests the insights - and oversights - of the so-called Frankfurt School, particularly of Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, and Herbert Marcuse. In their dark diagnoses of late modernity, their critique of instrumental reason and domination, and their unwavering utopian espousal of justice and freedom, Hewitt shows, feminist theologians may find allies in their own project. Hewitt also shows how critical themes emerge in the work of Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Mary Daly, and Rosemary Radford Ruether ...
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Overview

Marsha Hewitt tests the insights - and oversights - of the so-called Frankfurt School, particularly of Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, and Herbert Marcuse. In their dark diagnoses of late modernity, their critique of instrumental reason and domination, and their unwavering utopian espousal of justice and freedom, Hewitt shows, feminist theologians may find allies in their own project. Hewitt also shows how critical themes emerge in the work of Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Mary Daly, and Rosemary Radford Ruether and how their work provides a starting point for a feminist critical theory of religion. Indeed, she argues, feminist theology may itself be the vehicle for critical correction to the Frankfurt School, for reassessing the transformative potential of Christianity, and for delivering on critical theory's emancipatory potential.

This volume brings together, in an exciting and original way, the major themes of critical social theory and feminist theology. Marsha Aileen Hewitt shows how critical themes emerge in the works of Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Mary Daly, and Rosemary Radford Ruether, and how their work provides a starting point for a feminist critical theory of religion.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800626129
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/5/2000
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 To Change the World 1
Theory as praxis, praxis as theory 5
Critical theory and feminist theory: a shared interest 15
The dialectics of domination 17
Beyond "dialectic of enlightenment" 27
Feminist directions 34
2 Woman, History and the Family: The Dialectics of Non-Being 37
The "unreal, insubstantial shadow": Hegel's "woman" 42
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: woman and class society 49
Sigmund Freud: woman as innate insufficiency 62
Women: civilization's discontents 68
3 Shrew, She-Man, Slave: Images of "Woman" in Critical Theory 77
Negative dialectics 80
Ironies of negative dialectics 86
Self-perpetuating victims of patriarchy 89
Loss of the family 93
Toward resolving the sexist problematic 100
Eclipse of the individual 105
4 Unreason and Revolution: Herbert Marcuse, Mary Daly, and Gynocentric Feminism 113
Resistance and transformation 114
Mary Daly's elemental females 127
Spinning new reifications 133
5 Memory, Revolution, and Redemption: Walter Benjamin and Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza 147
Walter Benjamin and the puppet of history 151
Emancipation and absolving soteriology 155
The mother and the whore 159
The prophetic power of redemptive memory 162
6 The Radical Vision: Utopia, Socialism, and Humanist Feminism in Rosemary Radford Ruether 171
Christianity's latent emancipatory power 173
The Goddess revealed 184
Patriarchal invaders revisited 187
Women of Stature: Minoan and Etruscan cultures 190
Patriarchy triumphant: J. J. Bachofen 192
Working women: an alternative view of feminist prehistory 196
The human face of feminism 198
7 Toward a Feminist Critical Theory of Religion 207
Beyond theology 207
Negating oppression 213
Intimations of utopia 221
Index 230
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