Feminist spirituality is a class of religious beliefs in which certain feminist ideas play an important role.
In the latter part of the 20th Century, feminism was influential in the rise of Neopaganism in the United States, and particularly the Dianic tradition. Some feminists find the worship of an all-loving goddess, rather than a god, to be consonant with their views. The collective set of beliefs associated with this is sometimes known as thealogy.
Others who practice feminist spirituality may instead adhere to a feminist re-interpretation of Western monotheistic traditions. In those cases, the notion of God as having a male gender is rejected, and God is not referred to using male pronouns. Feminist spirituality may also object to images of God that they perceive as authoritarian, parental, or disciplinarian, instead emphasizing "maternal" attributes such as nurturing, acceptance, and creativity.
Feminism has had a great impact on many aspects of religion. In liberal branches of Protestant Christianity, women are now ordained as clergy. Within these Christian groups, women have gradually become equal to men by obtaining positions of power; their perspectives are now sought ought in developing new statements of belief. In Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism, women are now ordained as rabbis and cantors. Within these Jewish groups, women have gradually become equal to men by obtaining positions of power; their perspectives are now sought ought in developing new statements of belief. These trends have been resisted within Islam, conservative Protestantism, Catholicism and orthodox Judaism; which forbid women from being recognized as religious clergy and scholars in the same way that men are accepted.
There is a separate article on God and gender; it discusses how monotheistic religions deal with God and gender, and how modern feminism has influenced the theology of many religions.
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46