Essay on Rita M. Gross' Feminism and Religion
4159 Words17 Pages
In her book Feminism and Religion, Rita M. Gross provides readers with an introduction to the need for, and benefits of, androgynous scholarship in the field of religious studies. Gross strives to make readers aware of the dangers of androcentric, Eurocentric scholarship. Moreover, she advances the claim that, “properly pursued, the field of religious studies involves study of all major religions found in human history” and an equal representation of both men’s and women’s religious experiences (Gross 1-4). Because androcentrism has permeated both religion and scholarship for the greater part of history, Gross strives to correct and augment this perspective with illuminating examples of what she deems “proper” religious scholarship –…show more content…
The author of each article is a feminist scholar and female practitioner of the represented faith. The result is a refreshing and insightful collection of actual women’s experiences as both members of their chosen faith and as devout feminist scholars. Thus, Her Voice, Her Faith is an eloquent contribution of the “proper” religious scholarship Gross advocates.
For purposes of this essay, I have decided to use three of the essays contained in Her Voice, Her Faith to emphasize the link between the scholastic ideals explored in Gross’ book and their actualization in the scholarship of the authors of my chosen essays.
Representation of Sources/Selective Summary
“Taoism” by Eva Wong
One of the primary claims in Gross’ book is that “it is necessary to rewrite the history of thought to include forgotten contributions by women and forgotten female imagery” (Gross 76). In her essay, Eva Wong augments and amends the traditional androcentric view of Taoism to include the neglected contributions of women in Taoist practice. Wong notes that “the relative invisibility of women in (the Taoist Canon) has led many to believe that female Taoist practitioners have been rare and that their contributions to the development of Taoist thought and practice have been negligible” (Wong 122). This seems a dichotomy since today Taoism is a religion in which most of the adherents are women (Wong 121). However, Wong believes that “it is possible to
Religion and Women Essay
498 Words2 Pages
Religion and Women
Religion can be seen to act as a social control over women to a large extent. The feminist perspective argues religion serves the interests of men and cements patriarchal power. Karen Armstrong points out the ways in which God has been redefined by each era, by men to continually meet their needs. We can see this in relation to two main ideas, the nature of religious imagery. In most religions, women tend to be portrayed in terms of their "traditional" social characteristics. The "Virgin Mary" in Christian religion for example. Although a powerful figure her power, is ideological rather than political - the virtues of purity, chastity, motherhood and so forth are personified…show more content…
They are told they are close to God as they produce a soul of god when they are mothers but this is used to control them and they in turn socialize the children into the religion and the ideology, ultimately not recognising their inequality and it all benefits men. The nature of religious organisation is another issue when stating the extent to which religion is used as a social control over women. While women, feature strongly in both religious participation and to a certain extent, imagery, it is evident that there has been a very noticeable inequality between males and females in terms of positions of power and authority within religious organisations. Although some sects have allowed women to preach and spread the word, the majority of the world's major religions have tended to relegate women to relatively subordinate roles, in terms of their power, authority and influence in their organisation (which further reflects women's experience in the social world).
However the extent to which religion has been used vas a social control over women can be questioned as in relation to Christianity, the decision in 1994 by the Church of England to ordain women as priests and to allow them to take charge of Church services is a significant development to note. Also some religions do not convey the same ideology as others and are more egalitarian such