Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1983


Dominicans, Province of St. Albert the Great


Whatever else the feminist movement may have accomplished, it has established the fact that Western society, including the Christian church, is male-dominated.(1) Some are convinced that this state of affairs corresponds to the divine plan of God.(2) Others, both men and women, are convinced that the God of Judeo-Christian revelation calls us to liberate ourselves and one another from what can only be called the shackles of sexism, as we are to liberate ourselves from racism, anti-Semitism, and every other form of human oppression.(3) In this article I am not concerned primarily with the fact of this male dominance, nor with its injustice, nor with strategies for overcoming it. Rather, I want to investigate the effect of the experience of male dominance, whether welcomed or rejected, on the religious experience or spirituality of women. In particular, I am interested in how their experience of religious marginalization, exclusion, and subordination has affected women’s ministry and their sense of themselves in relation to God.(4)


Reprinted in Women’s Spirituality: Resources for Christian Development. Edited by Joann Wolski Conn, 31-48. New York/Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1986. (See additional file for PDF of this book chapter. Reprinted with permission of Paulist Press.)

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