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The Bonds of FreedomFeminist Theology and Christian Realism$
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Rebekah L. Miles

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195144161

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195144163.001.0001

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Freedom for the World

Freedom for the World

(p.57) Three Freedom for the World
The Bonds of Freedom

Rebekah L. Miles (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with Reinhold Niebuhr's claim that human experience is both bound and free (human boundedness and human self‐transcendence), and goes on to examine the broader ethical implications of this claim for feminist theologians and others. Though Niebuhr is drawn on as the primary resource for this position, the alternative offered is not simply Niebuhr dressed up in feminist vocabulary or feminism disguised by Niebuhrian concepts. Niebuhr's “hermeneutic of suspicion” creates a greater ambivalence about the moral status of the natural world and human communities than is necessary in a realist position. Instead, the alternative, a feminist Christian realism, accounts both for feminist criticisms of Niebuhr and for feminism's positive contributions to a realist ethic.

Keywords:   Christian realism, feminism, feminist Christian realism, feminist theology, human boundedness, human self‐transcendence, Reinhold Niebuhr

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