The Feminist Question: Feminist Theology in the Light of Christian Tradition / Edition 1

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The first work to undertake a theological critique of Christian feminism as a whole, this book sees to bring traditional faith and the feminist position into a deeper dialogue. Part One presents an overview of the historical issues raised by feminist theology, Part Two compares key feminist theological presuppositions to the prophetic interpretation of reality found in the biblical tradition.
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Editorial Reviews

Books & Culture
Martin's book is a scholarly tour de force that will remind Protestant readers just how much is missed by assuming that most of the important events of church history began with the Reformation.
Calvin Theological Journal
"A masterful piece of work. Francis Martin has produced the most comprehensive evaluation of feminist theology from the standpoint of historic Christianity yet to appear.... Its clear exposition and abundant documentation give it potential as a good critical introduction for a thoughtful reader. Highly recommended."
"Martin's masterful and majestic sweep of "the multifaceted reality that goes by the name of feminist theology" covers a "hermeneutical spiral" that ranges far and wide, from the early church through the Enlightenment, culminating in the "great waves" of feminism that extended from the latter half of the 19th century to the present day. Although this book does not include some major manifestations of contemporary feminist theology—e.g., womanist and mujerista—Martin's tour de force, which includes a superb bibliography, deserves its rightful place alongside Elizabeth Johnson's She Who Is, with Kathleen Sand's Escape from Paradise a few lengths behind."
"Father Francis Martin's conclusions show at a glance that the rest of his latest book is not just worth reading but a "must read" for anyone interested in the contemporary life of the Church. His project is clear and important and stunningly carried out: a sound effort toward developing a doctrine on the fundamental question of how men and women should live together in the Church so as to give full sacramental value to their sexuality.... Despite its length and erudition, this book is also a "can read," thanks for a wonderfully clear writing style with precise distinctions at every turn and frequent transitions that enable one to follow the complicated thread of the argument from beginning to end."
Martin's undertaking is vast, surveying an immense literature, portraying the historical context of Christian revelation, women's changing role in society, and feminism, and offering speculative arguments as well as biblical exegesis. It not only serves as an excellent introduction to feminist theology but also contributes mightily to dispelling layers of passionate obfuscation that becloud the issue. Though his own positions are clearly stated, he treats his opponents with respect and sympathy. This book is highly recommended.
Homiletic and Pastoral Review
"Martin's books is a "must" read for everyone interested in taking on the challenge."
Louvain Studies
The author has set out to write a critical assessment of feminist theology, based upon a laudably wide spectrum of reading in the literature and in dialogue with Catholic theology, using as key the categories of revelation, faith and assent.... Consistent with his theological starting point, the author has constructed a carefully and logically thought-out work, articulate and well-written, conversant with the sources of traditional Western philosophy and theology.
Modern Theology
Encyclopedic in scope.
Robin Darling Young
An admirable example of the author's fairness and willingness to engage in dialogue. The Feminist Question is an invaluable guide to both the literature of feminism and to the history of theology, and it points the way to further inquiry. There are no small accomplishments.
Scripture Bulletin
"This substantial and scholarly book undertakes to do exactly what the sub-title indicates: to reflect upon and to critique feminist theology in the light of the whole Christian tradition.... The book is impressively wide-ranging in its approach to both theology and feminism.... Martin, in this densely argued book, is clearly acknowledging the importance of contemporary feminist thought in the church and is ready to engage in stimulating dialogue with it."
The Thomist
A helpful book. Martin is fair to his interlocutors, and genuinely curious about their aims and their work.... As a map of the feminist question it is unique; and this itself makes it an invaluable guide to the larger theological agenda, which has now appropriated feminist theology, at least as a descriptive enterprise.
Theological Studies
Martin has produced an erudite and exhaustive study that proposes to examine feminist theology from the perspective of Christian revelation, mainly the Bible and its interpretation from the Church Fathers to Hans Urs von Balthasar and Pope John Paul II.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802807946
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 11/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 479
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Francis Martin, a Roman Catholic priest, is Associate Professor of New Testament, Dominican House of Studies, Washington, District of Columbia, and Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies, John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, Washington, District of Columbia. He has written numerous scholarly articles, reviews, and three books.

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Table of Contents

1 Theology and the Light of Faith 1
2 The Isolation of Theology 38
3 Christian Origins and the Roles of Women 75
4 The Move toward Crystallization 116
5 An Historical Overview of Feminism and Feminist Theology 145
6 Do We Need Foundations? 168
7 Foundational Hermeneutics 199
8 Analogy, Images, Metaphors, and Theology 221
9 The God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ 265
10 Human Rights and Ecclesial Communion 293
11 The Body Person in the New Testament and Early Christian Thought 331
12 The Body Person in More Recent Thought 368
Epilogue 407
Bibliography 423
Index 456
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