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Transforming Vision: Exploration in Feminist The logy.

Transforming Vision: Exploration in Feminist The *logy. By Elisabeth Schuessler Fiorenza. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2011. 978-0-8006-9806-5. x and 242 pages. Cloth. $55.00.

A brilliant work, this book is invaluable in providing a feminist vision for ekklesia as a domination-free, violence-free assembly of religious world-making; an alternative to the tensions between modernism and postmodernism: equality not as sameness but the transformation of dehumanizing kyriarchy toward enriching differences.

Almost twenty years ago Schuessler Fiorenza's Discipleship of Equals gathered her work from the 1970s and 1980s. This volume circles around "power, struggle, and vision" in articulating a critical feminist political the * logy of liberation. One must name the powers of domination. She coined the neologism, "kyiarchy," understood as a complex, multiplicative, intersecting sociopolitical and cultural-religious system of super-ordination and subordination, ruling and exploitation, including class, race, gender, ethnicity, empire, and other discriminatory structures.

A critical Feminist the * logy of liberation has always included the concept of structural sin, precisely because it strengthens wo/men and other oppressed people so that they, and their oppressor groups, do not regard acts of injustice such as rape, as the personal guilt of the victim. This vision is particularly needed today in a time of political and religious regression on issues related to women.

Schuessler Fiorenza clearly addresses the phenomena of the religious right and its influence, exposing the rhetoric of "traditional family values" as patri-kyriarchal. She writes: The much-touted Christian family is not Christian at all," in "a communal understanding of ekklesia as a discipleship community of equals"(103).

In a time when people from many perspectives would dismiss feminist theology, Schuessler Fiorenza fully articulates and makes the case for expanding it to include womanist, mujerista. Asian/African/Latin American, lesbian, differently-abled, Christian and Jewish women's perspectives. Moreover, she strives that feminist theology is seen as important in the academy where religion is often dismissed as hopelessly irrelevant. Significantly, she continues the struggle within the Roman Catholic Church, where, she insists, the world-church lacks the fullness of catholicity when half of its members are still excluded from full rights and responsibilities. The work is far from done; all religious belief systems are experiencing the challenges of feminist re-visions. This is a clarion call for us to live a wisdom spirituality of resurrection.

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Author:Everist, Norma Cook
Publication:Currents in Theology and Mission
Article Type:Book review
Date:Apr 1, 2013
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