Feminist theology: A very briefly annotated, very small bibliography

Somebody somewhere asked for my list of feminist theologians. It was very late. Wine was involved. So here a preliminary list for what it’s worth.  If you have some recommendations, please add them to the comments below.  I know there are more good people on my own shelves and beyond. This list is comprised of authors who were writing from a primarily binary/CIS-gendered place and represent a snapshot in time – early in the movement.  It also is woefully lacking in authors of color.  I look forward to hearing about what you are reading.

Early, Important Texts:

Sexism and God-Talk: Toward A Feminist Theology by Rosemary Radford Ruether (1983). This is really a seminal text for feminist theology. She opens up a whole world of thinking, not just about patriarchal language. She explores the masculine that is embedded in our most fundamental theology around Jesus as Savior.  It is mind-blowing thing to read – even today.

God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality by Phyllis Trible (1978).  Trible does are wonderful job of unpacking the hermeneutics at work in privileged biblical interpretation and theological application by bringing the hermeneutics of suspicion into full expression.

Metaphorical theology: Models of God in Religious Language by Sallie McFague (1982). Read anything you can by Sallie McFague.  In this book she looks at the line of metaphor and other symbolic language in various rhetorical field, following religious language through dogma creation and images of God the Father.

Moving into the 2nd Generation:

Just a Sister Away: A Womanist’s Vision of Women’s Relationships in the Bible by Renita Weems (1988). This book has been an excellent exegetical resource for me.  She truly gets into the minds of the biblical characters and describes in helpful ways how those relationships can inform the work and lives of black women in the church.   

Reimagining God: The Case for Scriptural Diversity by Johanna @.H. van Wijk-Bos (1993). This book gets at the heart of biblical language and how it has shaped our thinking around the people in the Bible and the Trinity itself.  Now only does she open up the gender question, but she also looks at traditionally ascribed roles for the divine.

She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse by Elizateth A. Johnson (1992).  Coming from the Roman Catholic tradition, Johnson really opens up the nature of symbol and names feminine metaphors in her search for what she calls “emancipatory speech.”

The Power to Speak: Feminism, Language, God by Rebecca S. Chopp (1989).  Chopp builds on the foundation of hermeneutics of suspicion and lays out metholodogical problems such as women’s access to particular language and spaces to transform discourse.

En la Lucha: Elaborating a mujerista theology by Ada María Isasi-Díaz (1993). This book brought words like “mestizaje” and “ethnomethodology” into my understanding.  I especially appreciate how Isasi-Díaz makes direct links between academic praxis proposals and the real lived experience of Hispanic women.

Changing the Subject: Women’s Discourses and Feminist Theology by Mary McClintock Fulkerson (1994). This is pretty heady stuff. But she lays out a beautiful analysis of various epistemologies at work at play in feminist work across a broad theological spectrum, drawing examples from Pentecostal and Presbyterian women.

Authors I recommend (based on journal articles I’ve read):

Kwok Pui-Lan
Rita Nakashima Brock
Delores Williams
Margaret Aymer-Oget
Frances Taylor Gench
Susan Brooks-Thistlethwaite
Serene Jones

3 thoughts on “Feminist theology: A very briefly annotated, very small bibliography

  1. A few more I’d consider indispensable: Carter Heyward, Andrea Smith, Elisabeth Schussler-Fiorenza, Beverly Harrison, Elsa Tamez.

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