The topic of this Independent Study project is feminist God-talk within different religious traditions. This paper is not intended to be an exhaustive exploration into theology or feminist theology. It is intended to give a cross-religious overview of feminist theological God-talk. This paper begins with an introduction explaining why the author selected her topic, how she became interested in it, and why she believes that it is important to write about. The first section of the paper defines feminism(s), gives a brief history of the feminist movement in the United States, and outlines some unifying ideologies within contemporary feminist theology. The three sections that follow become more specific. Each section focuses on a different religious tradition: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The section on Christianity explores two feminist theologians: Mary Daly and Rosemary Radford Ruether. Mter establishing the androcentric nature of God, Daly calls for a shift from viewing God as an anthropomorphic being to viewing God as just being. Ruether, who agrees that God has come to be understood nearly only in exclusive male language argues for the incorporation of Goddess into the Christian understanding of the divine. The section on Judaism introduces Susannah Heschel' s book, which is a collections of essays concerning feminism and Judaism. Two authors from Heschel's book are focused on: Judith Plaskow and Rita M. Gross. Plaskow establishes that Goddess must be paired with God. Gross envisions five basic images that can help bring female imagery to the Jewish Divine. In the next chapter, Judith Plaskow's ideas from another one of her works is examined. This chapter outlines some options that Plaskow suggests for a re-imaging of God within a Jewish context. The last section of the paper is structured much differently than the previous two chapters. Since there is no (feminist) discourse on God within an Islamic context, information from various Islamic scholars has been extrapolated. The first chapter of this section poses possibilities as to why there is no theological discussion. The second chapter summarizes the goals of Islamic feminists and their approach to battling gender inequalities in Islamic society. Finally, the third chapter of this sections begs the question "is there room for God-talk within Islam?" The paper ends with some concluding thoughts.


Scholz, Susanne


Religious Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

Request Access



© Copyright 2000 Alexia C. Zdral