Religious feminist revisions of the God-world relationship and implications for evangelical feminism
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SubjectFeminist theology--Controversial literature.
Femininity of God.
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The thesis of this dissertation is that implicit in the use of feminine God-language is a revision of the God-world relationship and this has been worked out explicitly within religious feminism and its doctrinal formulations. Secondarily, this dissertation argues that there are possible implications for evangelical feminists who may have difficulty avoiding the same doctrinal revisions if they advocate the use of feminine God-language based on similar argumentation and presuppositions. Chapter 1 deals with introductory matters and methodology. Chapter 2 is devoted to detailing some of the key aspects of religious feminism. Understanding the role of these facets is necessary when trying to appreciate the God-world revisions that will be discussed in chapter four. Chapter 3 documents the attempt of religious feminists to revise God-language. Specific attention is given to the use of feminine language and how widespread this language revision appears to be in this branch of feminism. Chapter 4 presents three variations of religious feminist attempts at the doctrinal reformulation of the God-world relationship. This chapter will show how feminine God-language played a central rote in these revisions. For most in this category, doctrinal revision is a key goal and feminine language for God is central to this revision. Chapter 5 documents the current efforts being made within evangelicalism to use feminine language when addressing God. They are then critiqued in the areas of faulty presuppositions, the confusion of a name and a metaphor, and departures from biblical authority. Finally, this chapter explores whether or not there are parallels between religious feminists and evangelical feminists with regard to the God-world revision. Chapter six summarizes and concludes the dissertation. Only three options appear to be available for evangelical feminists. First, they can argue that father language for God is biblically revealed, but is has no significant meaning. Second, they can argue that the Bible does use predominantly masculine language but it can be changed to something more dynamically equivalent. Third, they can argue that the language is revelatory, but is simply wrong.