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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines four modes of feminism and their diverse epistemological attitudes: liberal, experience, women’s-voice, and poststructuralist feminisms. Liberal feminists commit to objectivity, autonomy, and impartiality; experience and women’s-voice feminists claim epistemic privilege for women or the marginaliazed; and poststructuralists typically avoid epistemological claims. While they diverge over whether to aspire to truth claims, all feminist theologians are interested in our realizing our humanity. This chapter considers Schiller’s aesthetic philosophy that argues that truth is established and humanity realized only when experience (e.g. the data of feminist vigilance) meets with formal reasoning (our propensity for universal norms). Since experience and form are opposites, they can meet only through paradox and play. Insofar as feminist theologians privilege women’s experience over form, they risk evading the paradox that is necessary to the instantiation of truth. The chapter suggests four lessons to learn from paradox for the epistemology of theology.

Keywords: feminism, paradox, Schiller, feminist standpoint epistemology, ideal observer, liberal feminism, poststructuralist feminism, play, philosophy of religion, women’s voice feminism

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