This is an outline of an essay which will follow naturally from previous essays on this site, linked here. It would be helpful to have read the Retroflective: Feminism before Judaism page as one will be able to see more clearly where society is heading. It must be reiterated that not all women and men who class themselves as feminists follow this theology, however many hold to most aspects, and this is the theology that has governed the direction (and closure) of churches within NZ since the 1970’s.
There are several aspects of history and philosophy that have been essential to the rise of academic feminist Biblical interpretation.
- Wealthy Hebrews, Jews, and later Jewish, Greek, or Roman Christians, could not write back then, or even employ scribes. (Yes, it sounds insane, but this is the basis of all feminist theology from the 50’s and 60’s until today).
- Wealthy women could not write, or employ their own scribes, in Biblical times.
- Women were of a lower status in a Biblical society than men were.
- Catholic feminists: removing Mary from the life of the Church.
- Hebrew, Jewish and Christian culture, as reflected in the Bible, only benefited men and was set to only benefit men.
- Every wrong in today’s 21st century society is a man’s fault: history of women in religious leadership.
- Sexual freedom is only natural because we evolved this way.
- Mills and Boon theologians meet John Lennon: Sex is love, and love is all you need.
- Mother Earth: mixing paganism to birth a new hermeneutic.
- Make-up makes a woman: introducing men to womanhood, birthing the glbti+ hermeneutic.
There are several areas of society that academic Biblical feminists are not willing to critique, severely minimising their value.
- Womans’ behaviour: responsibility and accountability when life’s choices are still all a man’s fault.
- Prostitution and pornography: silently justifying women as sex objects.
- The use of sex as a weapon against men, sexual control of men in western societies.
- Consuming men as sex objects.
- Abortion: the holiness of God, the sanctity of life, getting away with murder.
- Domestic violence: it’s OK as long as you’re female.
- Drugs and alcohol: it’s only a male problem.
- Sexual fantasy: slut culture, rape culture, and the fantasy of being irresistible.
- Offending sinners: silencing the church, removing the fence at the top of the cliff.
There is currently a lack of understanding amongst feminists about where their theology is taking society.
- Individualism: the declining mental health and suicide of the lonely.
- Corporates generating wealth from gender issues.
- Exploitation of primary school children in a sexually charged glbti+ world.
- When every gender is equal, gender is irrelevant.
- Legislating mothers out of a family: normalising life without a mothers love.
There is a current failure to acknowledge that some of the woes of today’s society are a direct result of 40+ years of feminist theology.
So what have feminists missed within the Biblical text? An example from the Song of Solomon.