Motherhood as Metaphor: Engendering Interreligious Dialogue

Motherhood as Metaphor: Engendering Interreligious Dialogue

by Jeannine Hill Fletcher

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Who is my neighbor? As our world has increasingly become a single place, this question posed in the gospel story is heard as an interreligious inquiry. Yet studies of encounter across religious lines have largely been framed as the meeting of male leaders. What difference does it make when women’s voices and experiences are the primary data for thinking about interfaith engagement?

Motherhood as Metaphor draws on three historical encounters between women of different faiths: first, the archives of the Maryknoll Sisters working in China before World War II; second, the experiences of women in the feminist movement around the globe; and third, a contemporary interfaith dialogue group in Philadelphia. These sites provide fresh ways of thinking about our being human in the relational, dynamic messiness of our sacred, human lives.

Each part features a chapter detailing the historical, archival, and ethnographic evidence of women’s experience in interfaith contact through letters, diaries, speeches, and interviews of women in interfaith settings. A subsequent chapter considers the theological import of these experiences, placing them in conversation with modern theological anthropology, feminist theory, and theology. Women’s experience of motherhood provides a guiding thread through the theological reflections recorded here. This investigation thus offers not only a comparative theology based on believers’ experience rather than on texts alone but also new ways of conceptualizing our being human. The result is an interreligious theology, rooted in the Christian story but also learning across religious lines.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823251186
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication date: 08/09/2013
Series: Bordering Religions: Concepts, Conflicts, and Conversations
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jeannine Hill Fletcher is Associate Professor of Theology at Fordham University and the author of Monopoly on Salvation? A Feminist Approach to Religious Pluralism.

Table of Contents

Introduction: We Feed Them Milk: Theological Anthropology as a Labor of Love
Part I: In Mission and Motherhood
Chapter 1: Encounter in the Mission Fields: Engendering Dialogue Among Women in China
Chapter 2: We Meet in Multiplicity: Insights for Theological Anthropology
Part II: In the Sacred Secular
Chapter 3: Encounter in Global Feminist Movements: Enacting Trans-religious Alliances
Chapter 4: Creativity Under Constraint: Freedom in Theological Anthropology
Pater III: In Lives Intertwined
Chapter 5: Encounter in Philadelphia: Engendered Dialogue Today
Chapter 6: The Dynamic Self as Knower: Insights for Theological Anthropology
Conclusion: Seeking Salvation

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