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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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 Negotiating with a Disciplinary Tradition

 Negotiating with a Disciplinary Tradition

(p.115) 5 Negotiating with a Disciplinary Tradition
Feminist Theology and the Challenge of Difference

Margaret D. Kamitsuka (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

How can the contemporary feminist theologians continue to remain engaged with the Christian tradition, whose creeds and sacred texts pose seemingly insuperable obstacles for a diversity of feminist thinkers? This chapter argues that a postliberal rule theory approach to doctrine allows us to see how womanist theologies that are ostensibly disconnected from the Nicene-Chalcedonian creedal tradition (and possibly even at odds with each other) are regulatively instantiating a stream of that tradition in diverse ways. Employing feminist, deconstructive, postcolonial, and queer hermeneutical tools, the chapter offers a reading of John 4 that subverts the dominant tradition's masculinist, heteronormative, christocentric, or imperialist interpretations of this story as an account of the successful conversion of a Samaritan woman with dubious morals, misguided messianic notions, and illicit desires. This reading stands as an example of how the feminist scholar might resist “disciplinary” biblical texts, even while (perhaps surprisingly) finding herself still desiring to continue to read such texts at all.

Keywords:   Nicaea, Chalcedon, rule theory, womanist theology, John 4, hermeneutics, deconstruction, christocentrism, imperialism

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