Feminism And Religion Essay Contest

Essay on Rita M. Gross' Feminism and Religion

4159 Words17 Pages

In her book Feminism and Religion, Rita M. Gross provides readers with an introduction to the need for, and benefits of, androgynous scholarship in the field of religious studies. Gross strives to make readers aware of the dangers of androcentric, Eurocentric scholarship. Moreover, she advances the claim that, “properly pursued, the field of religious studies involves study of all major religions found in human history” and an equal representation of both men’s and women’s religious experiences (Gross 1-4). Because androcentrism has permeated both religion and scholarship for the greater part of history, Gross strives to correct and augment this perspective with illuminating examples of what she deems “proper” religious scholarship –…show more content…

The author of each article is a feminist scholar and female practitioner of the represented faith. The result is a refreshing and insightful collection of actual women’s experiences as both members of their chosen faith and as devout feminist scholars. Thus, Her Voice, Her Faith is an eloquent contribution of the “proper” religious scholarship Gross advocates.

For purposes of this essay, I have decided to use three of the essays contained in Her Voice, Her Faith to emphasize the link between the scholastic ideals explored in Gross’ book and their actualization in the scholarship of the authors of my chosen essays.

Representation of Sources/Selective Summary

“Taoism” by Eva Wong

One of the primary claims in Gross’ book is that “it is necessary to rewrite the history of thought to include forgotten contributions by women and forgotten female imagery” (Gross 76). In her essay, Eva Wong augments and amends the traditional androcentric view of Taoism to include the neglected contributions of women in Taoist practice. Wong notes that “the relative invisibility of women in (the Taoist Canon) has led many to believe that female Taoist practitioners have been rare and that their contributions to the development of Taoist thought and practice have been negligible” (Wong 122). This seems a dichotomy since today Taoism is a religion in which most of the adherents are women (Wong 121). However, Wong believes that “it is possible to

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Gender, Feminism And Religion Essay

Gender, feminism and religion

A) Identify and explain two reasons why church attenders are predominately female? (8 marks)

1) Females have lower rate of participation in paid work and this, it is argued gives women more time for church related activities, and more need for a source of personal identity and commitment. with a lot of free time on their hands it is likely they will attend church more.

2) Women are more religious than men and they are more likely to express a greater interest in religion, and have stronger personal interests which mean they may attend church more to show their commitment to their religion.

B) Examine the extent to which religion acts as an agent of social control over women. (12 marks)

Religion acts as an agent of social control over women as in the holy books such as the bible and Qur'an it says men are in charge of women. Even though there are many female characters in the biblical texts and some are portrayed as acting charitably or bravely, but the prime parts are reserved for males, there is no female equivalent to Moses for example, and in the New Testament all the apostles are men. The most prominent females in the Bible, Eve and Mary mother of Jesus, serve to reinforce patriarchal ideas regarding the dangers of female sexuality and the virtues of motherhood. Buddhism is also dominated by a patriarchal power structure in which the feminine is mainly associated with the secular, powerless, profane and imperfect. This may act as an agent of social control over women because some men might believe they have the right to control their wife and tell her what she can and can't do, as they may see it from a religious point of view and believe they are there to be in charge. Patriarchal issues have meant that women have been barred from serving as priest in many of the world's great religions until recently and more traditional factions continue to do so. Islamic groups, Orthodox Jews and the Roman Catholic Church continue to exclude women from the religious hierarchy

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