Doing a Theology from Disappeared Bodies: Theology, Sexuality, and the Excluded Bodies of the Discourses of Latin American Liberation Theology
This chapter begins by considering the contributions of feminist theologies. It then discusses Liberation Theology, a theology reflecting on the concrete site of bodies in suffering, and looks at what a Queer Liberation Theology, concerned with issues of politics and sexuality, can contribute both to the Liberation Theology project and to the Feminist Liberation Theology movement. This is followed by a discussion of bisexuality and Latin American liberation spirituality, and the so-called “the postcolonial queer twist.” It is argued that the unveiling of ideology in theology also applies to Feminist Liberation Theology itself, and to its own ideological presuppositions. If our theological projects are nurtured by the understanding that theology is a second act, then Feminist Liberation Theology needs to take more seriously the fact that a critical reflection on women's material lives and experiences is the starting point and the only valid agenda of our theological reflections; this includes women's sexualities. Feminist Liberation Theology's own poiesis (or sense of creation) should come from that. In a way, this is the kind of theology that allows God to be God, by allowing people “to come as they are,” too, beyond the politics of ideal theological constructions.
Pamela Sue Anderson
A major obstacle inherent in patriarchy remains its barely perceptible reality for all of those women and men whose lives have been decisively ordered by the rule of the father. Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, captures the imperceptible reality of racial domination with imagery of a fishbowl. Her imagery reveals the ways in which apparently invisible structures of domination can suddenly become visible. With Morrison's cogent use of imagery in mind, this article examines patriarchy by revealing the transparent structure of male domination that has contained women's lives, and the ways in which feminism has emerged with this revelation. The bare outlines of the former are made evident here in a reading of English literature and theology; the latter can be seen as if the writer and reader were outside that ordered life, tackling ‘the obstacle which does not speak its name’.
This chapter highlights some key contexts in which feminist ethical discourses emerge, and important methods that Jewish feminists employ in order to address gender and other inequalities, arguing that all the many forms of Jewish feminism are “fundamentally about ethics.” Across denominations, in the broader feminist movement, in academia, and in Israel as well as North America, Jewish women have been reshaping what and how Jews and non-Jews think and act—regarding women, gender, inequality and injustice, and many other critical ethical issues, including Judaism itself. Feminist methodologies creatively critique halakhah, theology, liturgy, ritual, and textual interpretation, with implications for social and political analysis and activism. In doing so, Jewish feminists “have created both a rich literature and a legacy of activism that is ethical to its core.”