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This provocative theological reflection challenges both secular feminists and Christian conservatives in its exploration of the role and status of women in Christianity. Drawing on a wide range of sources from the medieval mystics to the modern media, Beattie asks if contemporary women have been denied access to a a vital dimension of spiritual, ethical and psychological awareness, through the rejection of religion by modern western culture. Although highly critical of a theological tradition that has been almost universal in its privileging of patriarchal and androcentric values, Beattie argues that that is only one part of the Christian story. Through a careful and attentive piecing together of women's theological visions and voices, she asks if it is possible to discover an alternative tradition, produced and sustained by women's faith through the centuries, offering a different perspective from which to re-evaluate Christian faith and practice in a postmodern world.
This theological investigation explores the significance of woman in the Christian tradition from various perspectives. It is written as an open-ended quest for meaning in the form of a 'theopoetics' rather than as a systematically developed argument. Weaving and circling around the Christian idea of woman, the book offers an unfolding vision of the problems and possibilities inherent in the story of Christ and the Church, with its historical legacy of silencing and exclusion and its unfulfilled promise of freedom and flourishing. Tina Beattie concludes that woman is not a form of being but a way of becoming, a dynamic and unfolding discovery of self in relation to God, humanity and nature which is always in process, never completed. From a Christian perspective, this project of becoming a sexed human being - man or woman - needs to be understood as part of a larger and more encompassing human vocation to become divine according to the orthodox concept of 'theosis', through the ongoing incarnation of God in Christ, the Church and the world.>