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Feminist Theology and the Challenge of Difference$
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Margaret D. Kamitsuka

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311624

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311624.001.0001

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 Critical Issues in Retrieving Women's Experience

 Critical Issues in Retrieving Women's Experience

(p.27) 2 Critical Issues in Retrieving Women's Experience
Feminist Theology and the Challenge of Difference

Margaret D. Kamitsuka (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Although retrieving women's experience textually and ethnographically is pivotal for feminist theology, problematic assumptions are at work in the way feminist theologians undertake this task. Using feminist theological readings of Alice Walker's The Color Purple and the biblical story of Sarah and Hagar, this chapter illustrates how some attempts to retrieve women's experience textually actually result in eliding racial difference, silencing sexuality, and obscuring the nuances of women's agency and resistance practices. This chapter also discusses how some feminist scholars (e.g., mujerista theologian Ada María Isasi-Díaz) are using ethnographic methods in order to find source material for theological reflection and to give voice to women in marginalized communities. The chapter addresses conflicts that have emerged regarding whether one can retrieve the standpoint of an oppressed community of women, unmediated by the feminist theologian's own agendas.

Keywords:   The Color Purple, Alice Walker, Sarah, Hagar, ethnography, mujerista theology, standpoint theory

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