Other Voices : A Study of Christian Feminist Approaches to Religious Plurality East and West
Sammanfattning: This dissertation explores the contribution of feminist theology and feminist dialogue praxis to interfaith dialogue and theology of religions. Feminist dialogue praxis is studied through interviews and documentation from women’s interfaith projects; and feminist approaches to religious plurality through the works of a number of Christian feminist theologians, with special attention to Asian theologians, who in their theologizing consciously make use of their multireligious context.Just as feminist theology is a critical and a constructive project, so are feminist approaches to religious plurality. Women meet in interfaith dialogue in the shared experience of being marginalized in their respective religious traditions. But they also meet in a shared commitment to reshaping those traditions. There is a “common we” which is a starting point for dialogue.The dissertation argues that this “common we” is created through a methodology inspired by the women’s movement, where a central feature is creating a “safe space” for telling life stories and building relations. This safe space enables conflicts to be handled in a constructive manner, and differences to be respected.Marginalization, otherness, difference, relation and change, are themes that occur in feminist theological works on religious plurality. How to meet and understand “the other” is the crucial question in interfaith dialogue. Feminist theology starts in the experience of being “the other”, which gives a different approach to the question. The feminist discourse on difference can also provide an opening where religious difference is seen not as a problem but as a possibility.Interfaith dialogue among women is a discourse on the margins, and makes conscious use of its marginality. The margins offer a different perspective compared with the centre. The dissertation discusses whether this stance reifies women’s marginality in interfaith dialogue, or has the potential to bring about a shift, where the margins become the centre.
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