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She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse [Paperback]

By Elizabeth A. Johnson (Author)
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Item description for She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse by Elizabeth A. Johnson...

Winner of the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion. This classic explains what feminist theology is and how can we rediscover the feminine God within the Christian tradition. A profound vision of Christian theology, women's experience, and emancipation.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: The Crossroad Publishing Company
Pages   376
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.08" Width: 6.14" Height: 0.83"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2002
Publisher   Herder & Herder
Edition  Anniversary  
ISBN  0824519256  
ISBN13  9780824519254  

Availability  0 units.

More About Elizabeth A. Johnson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Elizabeth A. Johnson is Distinguished Professor of Theology at Fordham University, New York. She is the author of many bestselling books, including most recently Quest for the Living God.

Elizabeth A. Johnson currently resides in Greenville, in the state of New York. Elizabeth A. Johnson was born in 1941.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Womens Studies > Feminist Theory
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Feminist
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse?

Theology of Sophia  Sep 13, 2005
Johnson sets out in this book to articulate metaphors for God that are feminine in nature. This serves to counter-balance prodominantly masculine metaphors received from classical tradition. The term Sophia is particularly important.

Johnson explores this topic in four sections. First, she discusses the importance of speech about God and the impact of a feminist perspective. Second, she outlines three resources from which to draw feminine metaphors: women's experience, Scripture, and classical theology. Third, she articulates her understanding of the persons of the Trinity, beginning with the Spirit. Finally, she turns attention to the unity of God and God's suffering.

This book should be required reading for all men interested in theology. We must be aware of the importance of our speech about God. I have only two concerns. First, although Johnson does not seek to eliminate masculine metaphors for God, she avoids them totally in her book. This creates a tension between two equally exclusive forms of speech. Second, the experience of women is important in the book. This is only a problem if we allow experience to alter the way we understand God rather than allowing our understanding of God to illumine our experience. Johnson comes closer to the former.

This is a thought provoking book. It should be read by all interested in speaking of God faithfully.
A must read for any inclusive theology  Dec 31, 2004
Over the course of Christian history, women have been disenfranchised and oppressed. Patriarchal systems and androcentric mentalities have marginalized women sociologically and psychologically, even within the Christian community. Elizabeth Johnson believes this oppression stems from the language used for God. Because God is referred to exclusively and literally as a male, women have reduced roles within Christianity. Johnson seeks to use new imagery and metaphors for speech about God, in order to emancipate women from this oppression. Johnson recognizes that all language about God is inadequate, but using feminine imagery for God restores human dignity in women and men and helps with the flourishing of humanity.

Structurally, Johnson achieves this goal in four parts. In Part I, Johnson provides context and background for new speech about God. Because speech about God influences identity and praxis, new language for God must be sought. A solution to this problem can be explored using feminist theology, and Johnson provides basic feminist principles for theology. Lastly, Johnson discusses traditional approaches to speaking inclusively about God, and establishes that it is her intent to use only feminine imagery for God. Moving from the background to the foreground, Johnson builds her methodology, in Part II, by using three resources: experience, scripture, and classical theology. The experience of women is central to her theology, and while scripture is integral, Johnson seeks the reclamation of feminine imagery. Johnson also salvages certain principles in classical theology to use in her theology: the divine incomprehensibility, the need for analogy in God-speak, and the need for many names for God. In Part III, Johnson applies reclaimed feminine imagery to each Person in the Trinity. Beginning with the Spirit, and then moving to Jesus and God, Johnson explores what feminine imagery points to in God. Finally, in Part IV, Johnson uses feminine symbols, culminating in SHE WHO IS, to explain the immanent Trinity, the economic Trinity, and God's relation to the suffering world.
Interesting for both, men and women, lay-people and clerics.  Mar 26, 2004
An excellent book that one should take enough time to read slowly and thoroughly.
Elizabeth Johnson starts by looking for an appropriate word in order to refer to the Divine. It is common practice to say that God is Spirit. An interesting thing about this is that the word "Spirit" has gradually shifted from being feminine in Hebrew, to neutral in greek and ultimately masculine in latin. This is not much of a surprise in a male-dominated world. In itself this does not necessarily indicate an improvement in the adequacy of our concept of God. But if we consider this particular history of the word, it may suggest that in order to improve our image of God, we need at least to integrate all three aspects: the feminine, the neutral and the masculine.
This will help us take into consideration the fact that God transcends all categories. It will help us deepen our perception of God as mystery.
The important for all those who try to link with the Absolute is to know that God is, more than to know exactly what she, it, or he, is.
Another interesting fact that the author points out in the same perspective, is that the Spirit as such, has never been given a proper name.
Spirit is considered more often than not as an impersonal power, like a blowing wind or a breath in motion.
The title of the book is a clear indication that the author approaches the mystery of God from a feminine point of view.
This is done in a constructive way, without being too aggressive. Even when she suggests that Christ's ability to be savior does not reside in his maleness, but in his huge and steadfast capability to love.
More challenging are her comments on the suggestion made by a number of authors, that the Spirit was, at least for some time, hypostatically united to Mary.
To my view, this offers a good way of understanding the Christian creed when it claims that Christ was conceived from the Spirit and born from Mary.
Altogether, this book is a good incentive for women, but also a real challenge for men.
As a follow-up I would recommend the reading of her more recent book "Truly our sister". Quite logically, after dealing in the present book, with the feminine in God she focuses in the new one, on Mary as a major symbol of the feminine in humankind who also enjoyed a unique relationship to the feminine in God.
The world needs She Who Is  May 19, 2002
Johnson writes with an ultimate goal in mind, that of a transformation into new community. Her vision is one in which harmony with each other and with the earth are realized; an eschatological dream of a new heaven and a new earth where justice dwells and partnership reigns.
As a first step toward this vision her book offers theologicaly founded evidence for expanding our image of God. Language functions; selling a god of violence,or superiority based on maleness or color is not helping us to realize a vision of the kindom of God put forth by Jesus-one where all are included at God's loving banquet. Without this first step toward expanding God's image we humans will always be in violent dissonance with each other and with the earth.
I have read this book no less than six times, it has infomed my vision of the world and my personal goals in life. The language she uses is poetical and moves to the core of our being linking us with the holy.
Some interesting insights....but based on faulty assumptions  Dec 2, 2001
I found the book to be an endless and somewhat unnecessary attack on classical theism. Her notions of pauline theology, based on a platonic dualism, have been shown to be baseless. The disparities and divisions of the church and society are not proven in her work to stem from classical theism, but are assumed. The church which she diminishes has worked to bridge culturally created divisions, which she fails to admit to. Her pandering into pantheism and panentheism are also disappointing, for she reveals her true intention of not reforming the church, but espousing a new religion.

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