RECLAIMING WOMEN'S EXPERIENCE:
A READING OF SELECTED CHRISTIAN FEMINIST THEOLOGIES
by Marian Ronan
"Women's experience" is not the self-evident ground of feminist theology,
but that which needs to be explained.
MARIAN RONAN, a Cross Currents associate editor, is currently at work on a
feminist-literary analysis of late twentieth-century American lay Catholicism.
Cannon, Katie G. Black Womanist Ethics. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988.
Chopp, Rebecca. The Power to Speak: Feminism, Language, God. New York: Crossroad,
Fulkerson, Mary McClintock. Changing the Subject: Women's Discourses and Feminist
Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994.
Isasi-Diaz, Ada Maria. En la Lucha/In the Struggle, Elaborating a Mujerista
Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.
Welch, Sharon D. Communities of Resistance and Solidarity. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis
Wetherilt, Ann Kirkus. That They May Be Many: Voices of Women, Echoes of God. New
York: Continuum, 1994.
Like many people in middle-age, I am often surprised by the time that has elapsed since
certain life-changing events occurred. Can it really be, I wonder, that thirty years have
passed since the beginning of feminist theology?
In 1968, the year that Mary Daly's The Church and the Second Sex was published,
I was twenty-one, and just emerging from the world of Catholic women's colleges and
Thomist theology that had been formative for Daly as well.(1) When Beyond God the Father was published five years later, I
had begun to spend increasing amounts of time at Grailville, a Catholic laywomen's
residential community near Cincinnati. Grailville was an exciting place in those days,
with the founders of feminist theology visiting often, and many of the next generation of
feminist theologians receiving what often amounted to their earliest training in
"Seminary Quarter at Grailville." A headline in a Seminary Quarter publication
described the work we did together: "THEOLOGIZING FROM THE BASE OF WOMEN'S
This touchstone served me well till the middle of the 1980s. By then, the experience of
this particular woman, living as she was in the diversity of New York City, was daily
becoming more complicated. I decided, perhaps as an antidote, to join a women's liturgy
group that met in a Morningside Heights high-rise. At the first session, one participant
explained she was there "because men write history but women don't," a comment
that made me unexpectedly angry. I reminded the woman that most men don't write history
either; the men in her experience were apparently different from my working class father,
who would probably not leave behind very much writing at all. Before long I gave up the
liturgy group and went back to school, hoping to find some help there for my confusions.
* * *
It was probably not a coincidence that I began reflecting on difference within women's
experience(s) in that particular high-rise across the street from Union Theological
Seminary. A number of participants in the liturgy group had connections with Union, where,
a few years earlier, the Christian feminist Beverly Wildung Harrison had inaugurated a new
trajectory in Christian feminist theology. While acknowledging her debt to an earlier
generation of Christian feminist theologians, Harrison observed a continuation of the
traditional Christian split between spirit and matter in some of that theology --
otherworldly reversals in Mary Daly's work, for example, which Harrison linked to Daly's
Thomist background.(2) As a remedy, Harrison began
building her work around the norm of "women's historical experiences," using the
historical-social scientific methodology she had learned as a Christian social ethicist,
and thus inviting feminist theology and ethics to move beyond earlier invocations of a
universal but weakly specified women's experience.
This turn toward a norm of women's flesh-and-blood experiences can be linked to the new
"secular" women's scholarship and literature which held a central place in the
U.S. women's movement in the 1970s and 1980s. The incorporation into their work of
"women's sensuous, embodied experience" by Harrison and the many students she
mentored at Union was in certain respects a major advance, as it was in feminist
scholarship more broadly, not least because the experience made available includes, on
principle, the writer's own, thus undercutting patriarchal claims of universality and
As with its "secular" counterpart, however, the feminist theo-ethical turn to
women's experience is not without its problems. The assumption that persons are capable of
making their own interests clear results in a strongly autobiographical emphasis in this
work. But hermeneutical theory suggests that all communication -- even that labeled
"historical" or "flesh and blood" -- is occluded to some extent by
fundamental preunderstandings of which the interpreter is unaware. Psychoanalysis adds
that the psyche's most powerful motivations are those most likely to be repressed.
Language cannot reflect women's experience directly, then, and the production of feminist
theo-ethical texts is a "highly complex, over-determined process involving many
different and conflicting literary and nonliterary determinants (historical, political,
social, ideological, institutional, generic, psychological, and so on)."(4) The tendency to overlook this complexity -- to
write as if images and narratives actually reflect the lives of real women -- is the
particular weakness of this trajectory in Christian feminist theology.
In her 1988 work, Black Womanist Ethics, one of Beverly Harrison's students,
Katie G. Cannon, avoids some of the liabilities of this "reflectionist"
theory of language by studying the literary opus of the African-American novelist, Zora
Neale Hurston. While not escaping entirely the tendency to discuss Hurston's work as if
Black women's lives were directly reflected there, the choice of the "Black women's
literary tradition" rather than women's lives or voices per se as the focus of
her womanist-ethical reflections was a happy one, enabling Cannon to make the argument
effectively that survival is as ethical a value for African-American women as abstract
moral decision-making is for privileged Euro-Americans -- and perhaps even more so.
The interrogation of the experience(s) of Hispanic women constitutes the backbone of
the first full-length mujerista theology, En la Lucha/In the Struggle,
written by another of Beverly Harrison's students, Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz. Ethnography, the
method used by Isasi-Diaz, is trickier than Cannon's modified literary approach, however.
In an earlier ethnography, Hispanic Women, Prophetic Voices in the Church,
Isasi-Diaz and her coauthor, Yolanda Tarango, ran afoul of the
selection-masquerading-as-reflection problems which attend experience-centered feminist
scholarship.(5) Presumably out of a desire that
"Hispanic Women" should be heard more clearly, Isasi-Diaz and Tarango failed to
mention some significant differences between themselves and a number of the Hispanic women
they had interviewed -- nationality, economic status, and academic certification in
particular. No matter how heartfelt the claim that published researchers are speaking as,
not for, others, such differences matter. Isasi-Diaz makes more careful distinctions in En
La Lucha/In the Struggle, noting her own Cuban ancestry, her father's professional
status, and the differences between struggles for physical and for cultural survival
In specifying the ethnographic methodology which she uses, however, Isasi-Diaz again
blurs the distinctions between her own experience and that of her informants, a blurring
that helps to explain her choice of certain materials from the extensive interviews she
conducted. Her discussion focuses on "the most important decision" the
informants ever made (102-25). It begins with a question about what a mother should do if
she doesn't have the money to feed her child, and evolves eventually into an inquiry about
what the subjects would do if they had to decide which of two babies to surrender to be
killed (94-101). Based on the women's responses, Isasi-Diaz concludes that "Hispanic
Women" are moral agents; they have almost a passion for claiming their own
For whom, and why, is the moral agency of Hispanic women a question?(6) On the face of it, this question would seem to preoccupy not
economically deprived Hispanic women, but rather, liberally educated Westerners for whom
obsession with moral correctness can lead to paralysis. If, as she herself notes, the
example regarding the mother who had to decide which child to hand over to be killed
struck Isasi-Diaz's subjects as "far-fetched," (156), for whom was it not
far-fetched? Who has to make this dreadful decision to sacrifice one baby or another?(7)
The answer emerges in the next chapter, when Isasi-Diaz explores the current conflict
between the Vatican and U.S. Catholics over freedom of conscience (141-65). Conscience, we
learn, is extremely important to Hispanic women, but the Vatican Curia has stifled the
expression of opinion in the church to the point of threatening freedom of conscience,
something which disempowers Hispanic women. Isasi-Diaz cites a number of these cases:
Charles E. Curran, fired from Catholic University for his position on sexual
morality; Agnes Mary Mansour, forced to choose between her public role and her religious
community; members of the Vatican 24, who would have been dismissed from their religious
congregations had they not retracted their support for a statement in the New York
Times on the diversity of Catholic teaching on abortion; Geraldine Ferrarro, targeted
by the Catholic bishops in her vice-presidential campaign for being pro-choice, and others
(142, n. 1). Isasi-Diaz herself had reached an impasse with an archbishop over the
right of Catholics to dissent on the basis of conscience, an impasse which "taught
(her) first-hand much of what (she) argues here" (146, n. 10). Not only does mujerista
theology maintain that the person has an absolute duty never to act against her
conscience, she also has a right to have this freedom of conscience recognized by the
Without a doubt, some Roman Catholics, a number of them academically trained
theologians and ethicists who were of considerable help to Isasi-Diaz in her work, have
suffered from these vicious, retaliatory actions. It is indeed painful to be forced to
choose between one's own moral agency/freedom of conscience, and continuing membership in
a religious community, celebrating the Eucharist, preaching, or teaching. As a Catholic, I
share the outrage of those forced to make such choices. To discuss this dreadful situation
under the guise of the moral agency of Hispanic women, most of whom face problems of a
decidedly different sort, illustrates tellingly, however, the hazards of scholarship which
purports to draw on the "lived experience" (173) of a subaltern group.
In That They May Be Many, a book by a third student of Beverly Wildung Harrison,
Ann Kirkus Wetherilt, the "women's experience" trajectory meets some of these
problems head on. Wetherilt acknowledges that the diversity of women's experience renders
smooth, reasoned and ideologically suspect the "images of women" that studded
earlier feminist scholarship. Wetherilt attributes this difficulty, within Christianity,
at least, to Protestant biblicism and Roman Catholic magisterialism, problems she
designates, in short-hand, as "The Word" (31). In a move to escape this
rationalized, universalized, patriarchal "Word," Wetherilt turns to the figure
of "voice/voices" as a more adequate vehicle for women's oral/aural wisdom,
looking for her methodology to feminist theorists Sandra Harding and Donna J.
Haraway. Since I had once found quite useful Harding's feminist standpoint epistemology
and Haraway's "situated knowledges" -- proposals which use consciously chosen
vantage points to preserve objectivity and at the same time acknowledge the diversity of
women's experiences -- as an escape route from some of the racist and classist
implications of earlier "images of women" scholarship,(8) I was hopeful about Wetherilt's engagement of their work.
Nevertheless, in That They May Be Many Wetherilt does not so much resist as
reverse the hierarchized binaries -- spirit over body, reason over emotion -- that
undergird "The Word." Instead of discovering ways to discern the multiple
differences within discourses by and about women, Wetherilt shifts to images and
discourses "reflective" of women of color and the poor as a "resource"
for her theo-ethical work. Wetherilt, revealed on the book jacket to be a blond New
Zealander with an Ivy-League Ph.D., begins her introduction by associating herself with
women of color -- she attended Audre Lorde's memorial service (7-8) -- and throughout the
remainder of the text praises works by women of color almost exclusively. "Total
purity" (65) is now found in black and aboriginal languages. "Right
language," Wetherilt writes, "is crucial to the full expression of culture and
One component of Wetherilt's difficulties with "women's real-life experience"
is her use of the "women's voices" framework. Miriam Peskowitz has observed that
"letting women speak" can be strategically effective in that it can demonstrate
female agency where such agency has been denied, especially in religious cultures
intransigently committed to the exclusion of women and the study of gender and sexuality.
Yet Peskowitz also cautions that such a preoccupation risks erasing significant
differences between women by ignoring the problem of the social construction of
"voice"; in particular, the discourse of women's voices sometimes makes it
possible to forget about the power of culture that constructs the ongoing possibilities
under which women speak.(9)That They May Be
Many ought to be read with this caution in mind; Wetherilt's enthusiasm for the voices
of women of color tends to obscure the Professional-Managerial privilege that makes it
easier for some of us than for others to have our voices heard. Wetherilt could have used
Donna Haraway's emphasis on situatedness to greater advantage here.
Ultimately, the "women's flesh and blood experience" trajectory continues the
humanist optimism at the heart of the Enlightenment project. Wetherilt really believes
that the "full expression of culture and spirituality" is possible (65), while
for Isasi-Diaz, the survival of poor Hispanic women is identified with liberal Roman
Catholics' rights of self-expression. Too often, discourses of women's experience
"reflect" the salvation-bearing human which the history of the twentieth century
calls into question.
* * *
Although certain aspects of this second trajectory proved less helpful than I had
hoped, Christian feminist theology continued throughout the 1980s to provide tools and
encouragement for my attempts to navigate the complexity of life in the late twentieth
century. By mid-decade, a third trajectory had emerged which builds upon while resisting a
number of the solutions favored by classic feminist theologians, and by the scholars of
"women's flesh and blood experience." In her 1986 article, "Problems with
Feminist Theory: Historicity and the Search for Sure Foundations," Sheila Greeve
Davaney criticizes "feminist theologians across the theological spectrum," for
claiming (or assuming) that feminist images and language reflect ontological truth, in
distinct tension with the relativizing insights of historical consciousness (91).(10) She directs feminist theology away from the
reflectionist/representational theory of language which had thus far hindered a feminist
theological reconfiguration of the wide range of differences between and among women.
Specifically, Davaney offers as an alternative to what she perceives as this continuation
of the Enlightenment quest for certitude Nietzsche's "perspectivalism" -- his
connection between specific chains of signifiers and the will to power -- and its
philosophical descendant, the knowledge/power of Michel Foucault (82-83). Yet a certain
aloofness in this article links Davaney more than she perhaps realizes to the ontological
feminists whom she criticizes.
Sharon D. Welch's Communities of Resistance and Solidarity is, in my
estimation, a good deal more satisfying, in part because of Welch's self-engagement in
issues Davaney entertains quite abstractly. Welch uses the "genealogical method"
with which Foucault explores the intimate relationship between truth/knowledge and
power/domination, to interrogate her own ambivalent North American Christian-feminist
situation as both oppressor and oppressed at the end of the twentieth century (ix). This
confrontation is so direct that Welch positions feminist liberation theology within the
very tension between nihilism and hope, and initially, this tension guides her correction
not only of traditional, ontologically oriented Christian theology, but previous
theologies of liberation as well.
Alas, Welch is not entirely successful in maintaining this tension. In her middle
chapters she identifies liberation theology with the insurrection of subjugated knowledges
which Foucault's genealogical method aims to bring about. Yet by distinguishing too
absolutely between academic and liberation theologies, Welch undercuts her own previous
acknowledgment of the implication of highly educated Western professionals in ongoing
suffering and exploitation whether we call ourselves feminist liberation theologians or
not. Welch stresses that liberation theology (in contrast to "academic
theology") learns from the hope of the oppressed, opens theological discourse to
include their voices, and provides access to communication systems that enable the
oppressed to speak for themselves (44). But Foucault and others have been criticized for
claiming to enable the oppressed to speak precisely on the grounds that such a claim
renders their own interests transparent.(11)
While it may not be impossible for theologians and philosophers to enable the exploited to
speak for themselves, an honest maintenance of the tension between nihilism and hope would
demand much greater wariness than Welch evidences regarding this possibility.
Despite this slippage, Welch does intermittently engage the implications of the
shattering of "women's experience" brought about by the events of the twentieth
century. She also figures this shattering into Communities of Resistance and Solidarity
by incorporating into her text and interpreting selections from twentieth century
literature which address some of these events. "A feminist theology of
liberation," she writes, "can perhaps best be understood as a poetics of
In this closing comment, Welch intimates feminist theology's turn from a reflectionist
theory of language to one in which discourse is characterized by the capacity to signify
differences. In her 1989 volume, The Power to Speak: Feminism, Language, God,
Rebecca Chopp elaborates on that intimation, presenting language as a site of
transformation in subjectivity and politics by interpreting feminist theology as
discourses of emancipatory transformation that proclaim the Word to and for the world (9,
Chopp uses feminism, semiotics, and postmodernism to analyze the ways in which the
modern Word has underwritten the central terms of this era -- identity, self-preservation,
hierarchy, autonomy, and progress (24). Chopp recognizes another Word, however -- the
Perfectly Open Sign, God, transforming power and opener of new categories -- funding, for
example, women's discourses which emerge from the cracks and fissures of the
By combining semiotics and postmodernism, Chopp deploys speech as a central feminist
theological trope without asserting that women's discourses reflect certainty and truth.
By postmodernism, in fact, Chopp means precisely the refusal to preserve Enlightenment
certainty -- i.e., to deny that the events of the twentieth century happened (134,
n. 3), from which emerges an engagement with the ambiguities of language that
semiotics makes possible.
Chopp makes careful analytical distinctions in her writing, distinguishing, for
example, between the horrors of the Nazi death camps and the anguish of the bourgeois
psyche, yet refusing to sever all connection between them. She further suggests that some
of the events of the century may be fundamentally unrepresentable by virtue of their
horror. Given the seriousness of this engagement, I would not, as some might, dismiss as
postmodern play Chopp's invocation of abduction (the logic of the genuinely new), poetics,
and rhetoric as the practices of liberation communities which fund the transformation of
the narcissism, self-preservation and representationality of the current
Finally, Chopp consciously moves from the methodological debates that characterize many
feminist theologies to an actual reconfiguration of Christian discourses of proclamation
to and for the world. Instead of discussing Ruether's correctional method, or Schüssler
Fiorenza's feminist hermeneutics of reconstruction, Chopp examines and learns from the
textures of their discourses -- the midrashic chapter that opens and the apocalyptic
chapter that closes Ruether's Sexism and God-talk, for example, and the weaving
trope around which Schüssler Fiorenza builds her study of Phoebe of Cenchreae (19).
Chopp's decision to engage texts rather than methodology, as well as her overestimation of
the ability of readers to grasp her theoretical sophistication means, I think, that
although feminist theology did achieve its very own "turn to theory" with the
publication of The Power to Speak, this turn was not widely recognized.
Mary McClintock Fulkerson's Changing the Subject, which appeared five years
later, not only uses feminist and critical theory as its methodology, but takes on the
burdensome task of introducing that theory and exploring in detail what it offers feminist
and liberation theology. Fulkerson warns that although hers is a book about differences
between women, she does not account for those differences by collecting stories of
different experiences. Rather, she investigates the production of those
differences, and offers strategies to deepen respect for them; experience is not the
origin of her theology, then, but that which needs to be explained. At the same time,
Fulkerson foregrounds certain theological commitments -- to the Christian reading of
creation, God dependence, domination as violation of that dependence, and redemption --
even while deferring the existence of God as a formal question, since the communities of
women Fulkerson writes about simply act as if God does exist (vii-x).
Fulkerson "changes the subject" of feminist theology by developing and
applying a tool, "the analytic of women's discourses," to show that all
formulations are human and limited, including, and especially, the Cartesian split between
mind and body which is reproduced by an uncritical appeal to women's experience. Without
such an analysis, the Cartesian binary framework of society remains intact, Fulkerson
believes, no matter how many women's experiences (images, voices, etc.) are added to it.
Fulkerson calls the move that she makes with her analytic tool "textualizing."
Textualizing challenges the supposed naturalness of the various components of this social
order by showing how the positioning of signs in texts and actions, and the intersections
between them, literally construct differences.
Fulkerson's analytic of women's discourses has several components. "Reading
regime" is her way of designating the specific style in which a women's group, shaped
by personal as well as socio-economic desires and constraints, enacts a canonical
religious text. The "graf(ph)t," a Derridean term, indicates the intersection of
such canonical religious texts and the social locations of the groups of women who perform
them inside and outside the church, while "the situation of utterance" is the
most specific location of such a "graf(ph)t." Mediating between reading regimes
and sites of utterance is the concept of register, or subgenre, which, by pinpointing
subject matter, tenor of address, and mode of affect, shifts attention from the
"meaning" of performances to the ways in which they change (177-182). Although
these are literary terms, Fulkerson's concerns are by no means limited to the
linguistic/ideational elements in the canonical system, but extend to the institutional
and material effects of all kinds of discourses. Publishers, denominations, seminaries,
universities and banks influence how scripture gets performed and who performs it.
Fulkerson's methodology informs her reading, in successive chapters, of the
performances of three groups of Christian women: Presbyterian Women, the women's
organization of the Presbyterian Church (USA); Pentecostal women in the Church of God, the
Assemblies of God, and several independent Holiness churches in Appalachia; and classic
feminist theologians Mary Daly, Rosemary Radford Ruether, and Letty Russell. In each case,
Fulkerson teases out nuances of resistance and compliance that previous feminist
theological readings of a more naturalized "women's experience" would probably
In her reading of the Presbyterian women's organization, for example, Fulkerson shows
how upper-middle class housewives both complied with the official denominational reading
regimes that froze them in positions of gender complementarity and expanded their
configuration of domesticity to include responsibility for the church, the community and
the world. Analyzing register differences and the graf(ph)t of social privilege displayed
in Presbyterian Women's publications after World War II, Fulkerson demonstrates that
these women who would not identify as feminists or, for example, fight sexist language in
their denomination, had through their performances significant impact on the gendered
social order which produced them, even to the point of having their own social privilege
threatened by the extension to themselves of their own criticisms of injustice (235-36).
The Pentecostal faith of Appalachian women is likewise discursively complex, even
contradictory, with self-denigrating discourses graf(ph)ted onto biblical texts that
nourish women as "vessels of God," and repressive dress-codes offset by the
pleasures of women's worship performances (298). Finally, while Fulkerson expresses her
appreciation of the classic feminist theologians by reading their works as "parody
and politicization," she also discerns the graf(ph)t of social location on those
texts: as members of the Professional Managerial Class who certify the professional
discourses of others, academic feminist-liberation theologians fashion compliant as well
as resistant registers.
During my current foray into higher education, professors, on occasion, have accused me
of longing for the happy ending, of trying, finally, to harmonize differences I have
previously worked hard to discern. With their cautions in mind, I should add that Chopp's
and Fulkerson's books, however splendid, also have certain limitations. Despite her
"great sympathy" for Chopp's work, Fulkerson herself suggests that Chopp argues
for the creation of subjectivity in the intersection of language and the social order but
does not actually display differences in women's subject positions. In Changing the
Subject, Fulkerson goes beyond Chopp to display the positions of specific women's
groups in their considerable complexity. She then buries these insightful explorations
behind nearly two hundred pages of convoluted methodological analysis. She thus reinforces
the already ingrained Christian theological inclination to permanently avoid such
engagement, an inclination from which I am myself by no means exempt. At a seminar on
Fulkerson's work which I attended, for example, the entire session was devoted to a
discussion of methodology; Fulkerson's women's performances had to wait for another,
perhaps eschatological, day. The frequently dense and turgid quality of Fulkerson's
writing across the board weakens the impact of her nonetheless invaluable work.
These limitations aside, the development of this third, more analytic trajectory is
good news for Christian feminist theology and religious studies. The turn to women's
experience was a source of energy and encouragement for me and many other Christian
feminists; it was a considerable loss when the inadequacy of our formulations became
increasingly apparent. Mary McClintock Fulkerson's powerful and original readings,
building on and correcting previous generations of feminist theological discourse, make
"women's experiences" available once again, not as an innocent foundation for
Christian feminist claims, but as complex, textured amalgams of resistance and collusion
demanding critique as well as invocation. I wait hopefully for the works which will follow
Changing the Subject.(12)
1. [Back to text] Mary Daly, "Sin
Big," The New Yorker, 26 Feb. and 4 Mar. 1996, 78.
2. [Back to text] Beverly Harrison, Making
the Connections: Essays in Feminist Social Ethics, ed. with an introduction by
Carol S. Robb (Boston: Beacon Press), 8.
3. [Back to text] Toril Moi, Sexual
Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory (New York: Routledge, 1985), 43.
5. [Back to text] Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz and
Yolanda Tarango, Hispanic Women: Prophetic Voices in the Church (Minneapolis:
Fortress Press, 1992).
6. [Back to text] On the question of moral
agency, see Talal Asad, "Comments on Conversion," in Conversion to
Modernities: The Globalization of Christianity, ed. Peter van der Veer (New York:
Routledge, 1996), 263-74.
7. [Back to text] But see also Death
Without Weeping (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), Nancy Scheper
Hughes's study of Brazilian women who must allow one sickly child to die to conserve
resources for their stronger siblings. Scheper Hughes's work suggests to me that a further
gap marks En La Lucha, this one between "Hispanic Women" in the U.S. and
many Central and South American women.
8. [Back to text] Sandra Harding, The
Science Question in Feminism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986);
"Rethinking Standpoint Epistemology: What is Strong Objectivity?" in Linda
Alcoff and Elizabeth Potter, eds., Feminist Epistemologies (New York: Routledge,
1993); Donna J. Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature
(New York: Routledge, 1991), 183-201.
9. [Back to text] Miriam Peskowitz,
"Engendering Jewish Religious History," in Judaism since Gender, ed.
Miriam Peskowitz and Laura Levitt (New York: Routledge, 1997), 29-30.
10. [Back to text] Sheila Greeve
Davaney, "Problems with Feminist Theory: Historicity and the Search for Sure
Foundations," in Embodied Love: Sensuality and Relationship As Feminist Values,
eds. Sharon Farmer, Paula M. Cooey, and Mary Ellen Ross (San Francisco: Harper and
11. [Back to text] Gayatri Chakravorty
Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak," 66-111, in Colonial Discourse and
Post-Colonial Theory: a Reader, ed. Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman (New York:
Columbia University Press, 1994).
12. [Back to text] For further rewarding
deployments of the feminist "turn to theory," see Miriam Peskowitz and Laura
Levitt, Judaism Since Gender, (n. 12, above), and Laura Levitt, Jews and
Feminism: The Ambivalent Search for Home (New York: Routledge, 1997).
Copyright of Cross Currents is the property of
Association for Religion & Intellectual Life and its content may not be copied without
the copyright holder's express written permission except for the print or download
capabilities of the retrieval software used for access. This content is intended solely
for the use of the individual user. Source: Cross Currents, Summer 1998, Vol. 48 Issue 2.