Item description for Introducing Feminist Theology (Introducing) by Anne M. Clifford...
Overview Introducing Feminist Theology serves as a superb introduction to various strands of feminist thought from divergent cultures, countries, and social contexts. Clifford analyzes feminist perspectives on: Scripture, God, women and the Church, spirituality, and ecology. She also provides helpful illustrations, charts, reflection questions, suggestions for further study, and a glossary to increase its usefulness for beginners as well as scholars seeking to broaden their knowledge in feminist thought. A well-rounded and intriguing assessment of contemporary feminist theology as well as its historical origins and global developments.
Publishers Description Introducing Feminist Theology responds to the questions "What is feminist theology?" and "Why is it important?" by considering the perspectives of women from around the globe who have very diverse life experience and relationships to God, Church and creation. Clifford introduces the major forms of feminist theology: "radical, " "reformist, " and "reconstructionist, " and highlights some of their specific characteristics.
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Studio: Orbis Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2001
Publisher Orbis Books
ISBN 1570752389 ISBN13 9781570752384
Availability 0 units.
More About Anne M. Clifford
Clifford, associate professor of theology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, is the author of many articles in the area of feminist theology, ecofeminism, and science and religion.
Reviews - What do customers think about Introducing Feminist Theology?
Very Impressed Dec 30, 2008
As a newcomer to the field of Feminist Theology, I guess I'm firmly in the target audience for this introductory text. It is an extremely difficult topic to overview, since it encompasses everything that feminists have had to say about God, religion, the Bible and theology in general. It is simply not a unified field or single discipline or subject area at all. Given the extremely broad and fluid nature of feminist theology, then, I was thoroughly impressed by Clifford's book. It is broad in scope, well organised and very classroom friendly as well.
She organises her chapters in a logical way that works well to build up the overall picture of what we are dealing with. She gives biographical highlight sections of major feminists throughout, as well as info boxes on specific topics of special interest. There are stimulus questions at the end of each chapter, as well as bibliographies that are neither too short nor too long. Not only is the book sumptuously presented, by the writing style is clear and concise, and Clifford does an admirable job putting the concepts into a broad context that includes historical and social factors.
I was most impressed by the way she would take key examples (such as Trible's commentary on the fall or the history of the Women's Bible) and really explore them at length. This has the effect of giving you some depth and 'meat' of illustrative aspects of feminist history and approaches, rather than just rapidly summarising a great number of things.
Having said that, one minor criticism would be the cursory attention paid to various 'world views', particularly Asian and African feminist work. Usually, these sections would be little more than a paragraph, and seemed a little 'tacked on'. It is commendable that Clifford seeks to indicate the international breadth of feminism, but for me the end result was often the opposite: it gave the impression that these contributions were immature and derivative.
Another minor criticism would be some of the details in the opening chapter. Clifford goes into a great amount of detail about the oppression and marginalisation of women in societies around the world, and while this is an important source and motivation for feminist work, it did not seem very relevant in an introduction to feminist theology. It is disheartening to know how little property world-wide is owned by women (1%, apparently), but this (and scores of other details like it) didn't do much to increase my understanding of the topic at hand.
So, aside from a few minor quibbles, I was really glad to have read this book, and there's no doubt that it serves as a brilliant starting point for a fuller investigation of feminist theology. As far as I can discern, this is probably the best book out there for this purpose.
Outstanding Introduction to Feminist Theology Feb 12, 2006
Anne Clifford is one of the more significant systematic theologians on the American scene. Her work in Christology, Theological Anthropology, and the relationship between Science and Theology leave very little if anything to be desired. The Present text, "Introducing Feminist Theology" is a triumph for those who have only a beginning or intermediate appreciation of the nuances of feminist theology. The work is comprehensive if not exhaustive; however, the author never claims the latter. The book is extremely well written and will appeal to intermediate/advanced undergraduate students of theology as well as informed and educated lay readers. This text fills a gap in the field of feminist theology that has much awaited an introductory volume which can ground the more detailed studies of feminist theologians such as Johnson, Carr, Schussler-Fiorenza, and others. Overall...this work is a triumph in the field of feminist theology!
A Great Introduction Nov 28, 2002
I think that this is one of the better introductions to feminist theology. This is a great starting place for someone who doesn't have a background in feminism and/or historical-critical analysis in religion. It is sort of a "light-weight" book, compared to Schüssler Fiorenza's work or Radford Ruether's (some of the leading feminist theologians), but that is the whole point of an introduction. This is meant to be an beginner's book, not an in-depth exploration into the more specialized theological issues and questions. As the other reviewers have noted, this is would be great for an introductory course in feminist theology or for someone who heard of feminist theology and said "Hmmm, I'd like to know more about that." It does gloss over some more important points and it does over-generalize about some things, but often introductions must do that or things get too complicated for the beginner who just wants an overview. It's not a perfect book, but a great start for someone wanting to explore this topic.
A really helpful book that achieves its own purpose Feb 13, 2002
While this book may break no new ground, it does suggest the scholarly underpinnings of works and ideas that have sometimes been dismissed as benefitting from prevailing trends. Clifford takes feminist theology seriously, giving a helpful analysis of diverse claims, themes, and authors. There is a serious effort here to uncover the internal logic of the authors and situate them in their contemporary context. The book would work well as a college text and the pedagogical aids would enrich a student's understanding of theology in the broader sense. Yet it is more than a text book, analyzing the methodologies of diverse thinkers and thus suggesting how feminst theologies have enriched the enterprise.
Perspective determines rating Dec 7, 2001
I gave this three stars because, while I found this book frustrating at times and boring at others, it is a valuable tool for the classroom. Let me clarify: Clifford does a good job handling the history of feminist theology. She discusses the most prominant theologians from many perspectives and introduces the reader to many "forgotten" women in Christianity. She is really quite balanced in the material she approaches; it is neither too Catholic or too Protestant, and she examines in each chapter the perspective of women from so-called third-world countries, as well as minority thinkers. She does a wonderful job weaving womanist, feminist and latina theologies together.
So, why the poor rating? While I think that the text is a useful tool for students who have never been introduced to feminist theology or to a person who simply wishes a generalized overview, there are still some flaws which, for me, were quite frustrating. First of all, while her history is solid, her philosophy and reasoning leave a lot to be desired. She tends to make sweeping statements about certain issues or reduce a problem, which is quite complex, to a simple equation, which then doesn't pan out. As a person who believes that any good theology must have sound philosophical reasoning behind it, I found myself poking all kinds of holes in the logic. I also found myself being bored stiff in certain areas, which usually doesn't happen to me in this area of study. A final opinion? I would recommend this book for a classroom text (only an intro course) but make sure to supplement with other, more solid theological works such as Elizabeth Johnson's "She Who Is."