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Introduction

  • Carol P. Christ
Chapter
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Abstract

“She changes everything She touches and everything She touches, changes.”1 This is a line from a chant of the Goddess movement, yet it articulates an understanding of divine and human power shared by many Christian and Jewish feminists, as well as other spiritual feminists,2 including those who practice or are influenced by non-western or indigenous3 religions. Change and touch, process, embodiment, and relationship are at the heart of many feminist re-imaginings of God and the world. They are also at the heart of process philosophy. In this book I invite spiritual feminists to think together about how a feminist process paradigm can help us to articulate the radical difference of our visions from those of traditional theologies and to ground our desires to change the world.

Keywords

Philosophical Reflection Woman Writer Western Woman Divine Power Feminist Work 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 5.
    See Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow, eds., Womanspirit Rising: A Feminist Reader on Religion (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979, 1989)Google Scholar
  2. Judith Plaskow and Carol P. Christ, eds., Weaving the Visions: New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989).Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    I suspect that one of the most significant reasons that spiritual feminists do not make common cause is institutional pressure (with financial consequences) on Christian and Jewish feminists not to associate themselves publicly with ideas, symbols, and individuals considered “pagan” or “heretical.” See Nancy J. Berneking and Pamela Carter Joern, eds., Re-Membering and Re-Imagining (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 1995)Google Scholar
  4. Rita M. Gross, “Feminist Theology: Religiously Diverse Neighborhood or Christian Ghetto?” in Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 16/2 (Fall 2000), 73–78Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    See Carol P. Christ, “The Serpentine Path,” SageWoman 56 (Winter 2001–2002), 53–56.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    Anyone who becomes interested in process thinking will probably be directed to Whitehead; Marjorie Suchocki describes her “abortive” first reading of Whitehead in “Openness and Mutuality in Process Thought and Feminist Action,” in Sheila Greeve Daveney, ed., Feminism and Process Thought: The Harvard Divinity School/Claremont Center for Process Studies Symposium Papers (New York and Toronto: The Edwin W. Meilen Press, 1981), 62–82.Google Scholar
  7. 15.
    For a definition of inclusive monotheism, see Marcia Falk, “Notes on Composing New Blessings” in Weaving the Visions, 128–138; also see Rebirth of the Goddess, 109–112; and Laurel C. Schneider, Re-Imagining the Divine: Confronting the Backlash against Feminist Theology (Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 1998)Google Scholar
  8. 16.
    See Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father: Towards a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1973)Google Scholar
  9. Penelope Washbourn, Becoming Woman: The Quest for Wholeness in Female Experience (New York: Harper & Row, 1977)Google Scholar
  10. Catherine Keller, From a Broken Web: Sexism, Separation, and Self (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986)Google Scholar
  11. Rita Nakashima Brock, Journeys by Heart: A Christology of Erotic Power (New York: Crossroad, 1992)Google Scholar
  12. Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker, Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us (Boston: Beacon Press, 2001)Google Scholar
  13. Marjorie Suchocki, In God’s Presence: Theological Reflections on Prayer (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1993)Google Scholar
  14. Sallie McFague, The Body of God: An Ecological Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993)Google Scholar
  15. Nancy R. Howell, A Feminist Cosmology: Ecology, Solidarity, Metaphysics (Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2000)Google Scholar
  16. 19.
    Judith Plaskow responds to this point of view in “The Right Question is Theological,” in Susannah Heschel, ed., On Being a Jewish Feminist (New York: Schocken, 1983), 223–233.Google Scholar
  17. 24.
    See Marcia Falk, The Book of Blessings: New Prayers for Daily Life, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1996 [Boston: Beacon Press, 1999])Google Scholar
  18. 29.
    Western women’s attraction to Kali is widespread. When I taught in the Women’s Spirituality Program at California Institute of Integral Studies in 1994, a poster of Kali decorated the common area; also see China Galland, The Bond between Women: A Journey to Fierce Compassion (New York: Penguin Riverhead, 1998).Google Scholar
  19. 30.
    See Sandy Boucher: Kwan Yin: Buddhist Goddess of Compassion (Boston: Beacon Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  20. 33.
    See for example, Jacques Derrida, The Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982 [1972])Google Scholar
  21. Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (London: Tavistock Publications, 1972 [1969]).Google Scholar
  22. 36.
    This would be true for example of the work of Christian feminist and womanist thinkers such as Rosemary Radford Ruether, Sexism and God-Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology (Boston: Beacon Press, 1983)Google Scholar
  23. Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins (New York: Crossroad, 1983)Google Scholar
  24. Delores Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk (Maryknoll NY: Orbis, 1993)Google Scholar
  25. 37.
    See Alfred North Whitehead, Religion in the Making (New York: The World Publishing Company, 1971 [1926]), 120.Google Scholar
  26. 42.
    Alfred North Whitehead, Modes of Thought (New York: The Free Press, 1966 [1938]), 174.Google Scholar
  27. 43.
    Charles Hartshorne, Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984)Google Scholar
  28. 47.
    In addition to works mentioned in previous notes, see John B. Cobb, Jr. and David Ray Griffin, Process Theology: An Introductory Exposition (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1976)Google Scholar
  29. John B. Cobb, Jr., A Christian Natural Theology: Based on the Thought of Alfred North Whitehead (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1965)Google Scholar
  30. David Ray Griffin, Reenchantment without Supernaturalism: A Process Philosophy of Religion (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2001).Google Scholar
  31. 52.
    Charles Hartshorne, The Darkness and the Light: A Philosopher Reflects upon His Fortunate Career and Those Who Made It Possible (Albany: State University of New York 1990), 399.Google Scholar

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© Carol P. Christ 2003

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