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Journal Article January 2014

 

How feminine participation in the divine might renew the Church and its leadership

in Feminist Theology Volume 22 Issue 2 pp.173-185

 

ABSTRACT

 

Patriarchal theologies which obstruct women’s leadership in the Anglican Church and impede ‘collaborative’ ministry prompt this exploration of the reluctance to relinquish male metaphors for God, even when intimate relationship rather than gender is stressed as the crucial concept of Trinitarian theology. Despite the ambiguities of using female terms for the divine and of establishing the oft-neglected Holy Spirit as female imaginary in the Godhead, Father-idolatry and sub-ordinationism in the Trinity need to be challenged. ‘Midwife’ is suggested as a feminine term for the 3rd Person, signifying non-gendered action but retaining personhood. This would creatively renew Trinitarian doctrine, the Church and its leadership as reflections of the perichoretic Godhead.

 

Link to article: click here

Journal Article December 2013

'What On Earth Is She Thinking Of, Still Attending Church? Action Research in a Southeast London Parish'

in Practical Theology, 6.3, December 2013

Link to article: click here

ABSTRACT

 

According to the secularization thesis the Church is in  decline because women have departed, yet congregations are predominantly  female. This article presents a piece of action research with 24 female  parishioners across four generational cohorts in a suburban church.
They were interviewed on the gospel text Luke 7.36–50, chosen for its gender-biased narrative. Focusing particularly on the second stage of data analysis, the concept “Activity” reveals the vital role of female subjectivity and action in the history of Christianity, and in the faith  lives of these women.

The findings are placed in dialogue with the feminist challenge to the exclusion of a female imaginary within Christianity and the overlooking of female ethical reasoning. The outcome suggests that the Christian faith gives women of all ages a focus for active lives in relationship with a God of love.

 

Keywords

  • congregational studies
  • feminist theology
  • biblical interpretation
  • secularization
  • imaginary



New Publication November 2013

Click on image to go to Ashgate Website page

A collection of essays on empirical research projects, all foregrounding the faith of women and girls; edited by Fran Porter, Anne Philips & Nicola Slee.

 

Contents:

Introduction, Fran Porter, Anne Phillips and Nicola Slee;

Part 1 Feminist Research Perspectives:

Feminist qualitative research as spiritual practice: reflections on the process of doing qualitative research, Nicola Slee;

From privacy to prophecy: public and private in researching women’s faith and spirituality, Jan Berry.

Part II Neglected Ages, Stages and Styles in Women’s and Girls’ Faith Lives:

Understanding the work of women in religion, Abby Day;

Feminist faith lives? Exploring perceptions of feminism among two Anglican cohorts, Sarah-Jane Page;

Being in communion: patterns of inclusion and exclusion in young lay women’s experiences of Eucharist in the Church of England, Kim Wasey;

God talk/girl talk: a study of girls’ lives and faith in early adolescence, with reflections on those of their biblical fore-sisters, Anne Phillips.

Part III Female Faith in Diverse Geographical and Ecclesial Contexts:

The ‘in-the-middle’ God: women, community conflict and power in Northern Ireland, Fran Porter;

Fat chicks, blue books and green valleys: identity, women and religion in Wales, Manon Ceridwen James;

Searching for sisters: the influence of biblical role models on young women from mainstream and charismatic evangelical traditions, Ruth Perrin;

The use of patriarchal language in the Church of God of Prophecy: a case study, Deseta Davis.

Part IV Women’s Spiritual Practices, Beliefs and Attachments:

Broken Silence: researching with women to find a voice, Emma Rothwell;

Integrating ritual: an exploration of women’s responses to Woman-Cross, Susanna Gunner;

Silent gifts: an exploration of relationality in contemporary Christian women’s chosen practices of silence, Alison Wooley;

Patterns of women’s religious attachments, Eun Sim Joung;

Boundaries and beyond: weaving women’s experiences of spiritual accompaniment, Caroline Kitcatt;

Understanding Jesus Christ: women explore liberating and empowering Christologies, Francesca Rhys.

Part V Experiences of Liminality in Women’s Faith Lives:

The relevance of a theology of death and dying and pastoral care: some reflections, Jennifer Hurd;

The liminal space in motherhood: spiritual experiences of first time mothers, Noelia Molina;

How survivors of abuse relate to God: a qualitative study, Susan Shooter.

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