Feminist Theology and the Engendering of Salvation

Date:  Sunday, March 28, 2010
Speaker:  Marie Vandenbark

 Marie Vandenbark received a Ph.D. in Religious and Theological Studies from the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver in 2000. She earned an M. A. in theology from United Theological Seminary, where she was the first recipient of the prize in feminist theology. She also has a B.A. in English from Luther College. She has taught religion in graduate, undergraduate, community, and church settings, and is currently teaching ethics and humanities at Utah Valley University, and writing a book on Counter-cultural Simplicity. She is a Quaker and a former Lutheran, committed to ecumenical, inter-religious dialogue.

“Theology—disciplined reflection on the divine and on all else in light of who God is—always starts where we are. Based on our experiences, women of faith who take their gender seriously often come to affirm God but to question traditional ways of speaking about the divine and about religious life. I contend that predominantly male language for God, male-oriented conceptions of God’s power, male-dominated spiritual and practical leadership in religious communities, etc., can disempower women both spiritually and politically, placing unnecessary limits on God’s saving work in the world. In contrast, feminist theologies of many kinds affirm the value of women and girls, take seriously their perspectives, and promote action to avoid and redress injustice. Feminist theology’s challenge to all who affirm divine power in this world is to let one’s love of God and creation be guided by the hurts and gifts of women and girls.”

 Recommended Reading and Resources:
Classic Texts in Feminine Theology –
Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father.
Rosemary Radford Ruether, Feminism and God-Talk.
Carol Christ and Judith Plaskow, Womenspirit Rising.
LDS and Post-LDS Feminist Writings –
Maxine Hanks, “Perspective On Mormon Women.” http://www.lds-mormon.com/women.shtml
Sonia Johnson, Going Out of Our Minds.
Organizations and Periodicals
Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, http://www.fsrinc.org/jfsr
WATER, www.hers.com/water
Christians for Biblical Equality, www.cbeinternational.org
Friendly Woman, http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/friends/ead/4087frwo.xml