As I study the subset of anthropology in Systematic Theology, I am disturbed at the lack of placing woman in the scheme of things. If she is addressed it usually is in addendum to man. How did Eve contribute to Adam’s sin? How did woman solve man’s loneliness? There is a general insistence among theologians that man holds the focal point at the center of God’s interaction with humans. Woman is a bit player used to thicken plot and add beauty to the tale.
I am very aware of the fear of feminism in the church. I recently heard the story of a Catholic college that offered a course on the Women in the Bible. The nun teaching the course began her first day by apologizing for not being born with a penis. She spent the entire course upholding women as paragons of power and defied all forms of orthodox anthropology. This flaming rhetoric is at the core of the church’s fear of feminism, and is not what I propose. I admit to being very sensitive to how women fit in the scheme of God’s plan, but isn’t that logical seeing that I am a woman? So, I’m naturally curious about what God had in mind for me? I am also sensitive from years of being taught bad womanology in Sunday School and churches. My “nonsense meter” is often in overdrive. And although I hear my own frustration with patriarchy mirrored in the nun’s apology, I pray the Holy Spirit will temper my rhetoric with grace and truth.
My ideas may seem horribly unorthodox. But as I study, I am realizing that many of our core doctrines are held together by a few clear statements of Scripture and lots of philosophical glue. And often that glue differs from theologian to theologian. Its time to add some more feminine glue to that pile. She is there holding things together even if the scholarly world neglects to recognize her.
Have you found any female theologians that have explored womanology? Please share.