Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Origins of Biblical "Feminism"

I found this to be quite informative.

Does Evangelical Feminism have its roots in 20th century feminism? Not according to Merrill Groothuis. 
 ”The historical origin of evangelical feminism as a “movement” can be located in the writings of Sarah Grimke, an abolitionist of the 19th century. Beginning with Grimke in the 1830s, the evangelical leaders in early American feminism maintained that the Bible had been mistranslated and misinterpreted by men so as to appear to teach the subordination of women as a universal norm. This early feminist belief was tied in with the belief that the Bible also fundamentally opposes slavery–even though the pro-slavery faction at that time had an arsenal of biblical proof texts to support their position. In fact, the women’s movement of the 19th century arose in large part from the concerns of Christian women such as Sarah Grimke who began to speak out against slavery, and wound up having to defend their right as women to speak publicly about anything at all. 
 Although evangelical feminism today has gleaned some truths and some encouragement from late 20th-century feminism, its basic philosophy does not derive from the women’s liberation movement that began in the 1960s and ’70s, nor does it find inspiration in the radical feminist religions that have emerged along with a variety of alternative, New Age-type spiritualities in recent decades. Rather, evangelical feminism is primarily continuing along the lines of a fundamentally Christian tradition that began nearly two hundred years ago.”

Allison's blog and subsequent link.

--Nick

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