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Book Chapter

Publication Date



Paulist Press


If feminism is a major resource for the transformation of humanity and history in the direction of wholeness and hope, it is also a serious challenge to organized religion and e specially to Christianity because it calls into question the traditional theology of God and of human beings. But beneath these theological questions lies an even more fundamental issue, namely the question of biblical revelation. Th equestion, in its starkest terms, is whether or not the Bible teaches the maleness of God and the inferiority of women. In other words, is patriarchy divinely revealed and therefore divinely sanctioned? It would seem that, if it is, there is no future for self-affirming women in Christianity because the Bible is regarded by Christians as somehow a bearer of divine revelation.

Some women, of course, have accepted and interiorized what seems to be the biblical verdict on their status, namely that male headship in family and church is divinely mandated, that women' s subordination is of divine institution, and that God is ultimately, if not actually male, at least the warrant for regarding the male as the normative human being. In biblical fundamentalist communities there is virtually no alternative to accepting these conclusions and their practical implications.

Chapter of

Beyond Patching: Faith and Feminism in the Catholic Church. Revised Edition


Reprinted with permission.

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Religion Commons